Kenneth (Kenny) 'The Jet' Smith, (born March 8, 1965, in Queens, New York) is a retired National Basketball Association player and current TV basketball analyst. He attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, a school rich in basketball and scholastic tradition, and the home of such prep standouts as Brian Winters, Robert Werdann, and New York City schoolboy legend Kenny Anderson (also Smith's cousin). Smith graduated in 1983. While still in high school, he earned the nickname "Jet" after a local sportswriter saw the cat-quick Smith in action in an in-season game against rival Christ the King High School and reported on it the next day in the paper. The newsman watched in awe as Smith repeatedly shredded the defense's tough press, only to "jet" down the court for several easy lay-ups, earning the moniker in the process. That year, Smith was also named a High School All-American and was selected to play in the 1983 McDonald's All-American Game in Atlanta. He moved on to play for coaching legend Dean Smith at North Carolina and became a rare 4-year starter, over the course of his career playing alongside Carolina and future NBA stars Sam Perkins, Michael Jordan and Brad Daugherty. When he graduated in 1987, Smith held the school record for most assists with 768 (since surpassed by Ed Cota), including 86 assists in NCAA Tournament play, was a 1st-Team All-American and was named Basketball Times Player of the Year.
While at Carolina, Smith also played for the US national team in the 1986 FIBA World Championship, winning the gold medal.
The Sacramento Kings made him the 6th overall pick in the 1987, ahead of such notable point guards as Kevin Johnson (taken with the next pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers), and fellow New Yorker Mark Jackson, who wound up going 18th to the New York Knicks and winning that year's Rookie of the Year award. Smith had a good season for the Kings and was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, averaging 13.8 points and 7.1 assists per game while playing with the Kings. He would go on to win the 1994 and 1995 NBA with the Houston Rockets, whom he played for after being traded in 1990. He is also the Rockets' all-time leader in three-point field goal percentage with .407. His greatest moment as a player came in Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Finals against the Orlando Magic, when he hit a game-tying three-pointer as time expired to send the game into overtime. The Rockets would eventually win the game and sweep the series. Smith played 10 seasons in the NBA. During his career, Smith played for the Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and the Denver Nuggets.
In 1998, Smith became an NBA studio analyst for the TNT show, Inside the NBA. He provides analysis and acts as a straight man for studio partner Charles Barkley. When a team is eliminated from the playoffs, Smith sends them "Fishing" by showing a placard with team members on a fishing boat. Smith is also a color analyst for New York Knicks broadcasts on MSG, hosts Full Court Press on Sirius Satellite Radio, and in October 2007 became an NBA analyst for Yahoo! Sports. Although he never was named an All-Star, Smith did compete in both 1990 and 1991 in the Slam Dunk Contest as part of NBA, finishing second in the contest to Dominique Wilkins in 1990.
Smith also created the Kenny Smith North Carolina Boys and Girls Basketball Camp. The camp teaches young boys and girls about the rules and the game of basketball.
Smith's first video game appearance was in NBA, followed by appearances in NBA and NBA as an NBA All-Star Weekend announcer at the Slam Dunk Contest and Three-point Shootout. Smith also does commentary for some of the NBA Games.Smith also appears in NBA in story 3 of the Life mode in which he plays one on one against your created player. He is also an announcer in the game.
Kenny is also the first Commissioner of the Premier Basketball League.
Kenny and Gwen had their first child in March 2008, which was acknowledged by Drew Carey on-air, including a little baby shower held on her last day on the show before her maternity leave, complete with a cake for the show staff and winning Showcase contestant on-air. Smith also has two children from a previous marriage.