Many professional athletes often struggle with the dilemma of what to do with their lives once they retire. Some take to sports-casting while others take to coaching, with varying degrees of success. If there is one athlete who is performing splendidly in retirement, it is Kenny Smith – a former basketballer who spent ten years in the NBA. Nicknamed The Jet, he won several trophies including two NBA championships. Since retiring, Smith has built an award-winning career as a TV personality. Want to know more about The Jet? Read all the facts here.
Kenny Smith – Bio
The sports guru was born on the 8th of March 1965 in Queens, New York. He hails from a family of four; his father’s name is Kenny Smith Sr. while his mother’s name is Annie Mae. The basketballer also has a brother named Vincent. Smith grew up in LeFark City, Queens, and attended Archbishop Molloy High School. As a high school student, he recorded impressive achievements on the basketball court and was named a McDonalds All-American. Smith’s high school exploits fetched him several scholarship offers and he chose to attend the University of North Carolina. At UNC, Smith continued his impressive form and averaged 12.9 points and 6.0 assists per game. He led his school to the Atlantic Coast Conference title and was named National Player of the Year in his senior year. He equally received All-American honours as a senior in 1987.
Kenny Smith joined the NBA in 1987 and was drafted 6th overall by The Sacramento Kings. In his very first season, he recorded 13.8 points and 7.1 assists per game and received NBA All-Rookie first team honours. Smith would go on to spend a total of 10 years in the league during which he played for teams such as The Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons. The point guard finished his career with 9,397 points, 1,454 rebounds and 4,073 assists (1.2PPG, 2.0RPG, and 5.5APG). He also won the NBA championship twice with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995. Smith also enjoyed success with the USA national team, winning gold at the 1986 FIBA World Championships held in Spain.
Wife And Divorce
Kenny Smith was married to Gwendolyn Osbourne, an English model/actress who has appeared in a bunch of movies and TV shows. She is, however, most popular for her stint as a model on the game show, The Price is Right. Smith first met Osbourne at a charity event in 2004. They later commenced a romantic relationship and tied the knot two years later, in 2006. The couple’s union lasted for 12 years and they called it quits in October 2018. Osbourne was the one who filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. She also asked for physical and legal custody of their children as well as support. The couple’s divorce proceedings have been amicable so far. However, in May 2019, Osbourne disclosed that Smith owed her arrears of spousal and child support and asked the court to make him pay.
Daughter And Son
Kenny Smith has a total of five children, including one step-daughter. His first marriage to a lady named Dawn Reavis produced daughter, Kayla, and son, K.J. His second marriage to actress/model, Gwendolyn Osbourne, produced daughter, London and son, Malloy. The retired basketballer also has a step-daughter named Monique, courtesy of his second wife. K.J has followed his father’s footsteps as he played college basketball. Kayla, on the other hand, has gone in an entirely different direction. She is a fast-rising R’n’B singer and has a record deal with Interscope. Her musical style mirrors that of legendary singers such as Aaliyah, Brandy and Monica and she has a single titled If You Love Me. Kayla has also performed at various public events including the NBA All-Star weekend. The talented young lady is also a college graduate and holds a degree from UCLA.
Kenny Smith has a net worth of $15 million. His fortune stems from the juicy contracts and endorsement deals that he bagged during his playing days. Another veritable source of income for the retired basketballer is his TV career. Smith is an analyst on the popular TNT program, Inside the NBA. The post-game show offers expert analysis of NBA matches and has become quite popular with basketball fans. Smith joined the show as far back as 1997 and reportedly earns a salary of $4 million per annum.
An average basketball player boasts of imposing height and physique and Kenny Smith is no different. He is 6 feet 3 inches tall (1.91m) and weighs 170lb or 77kg. Even though he has been retired for more than two decades now, the New York native still maintains a tall and slim physique. This is unlike other athletes who let themselves go once their playing days are over.