Kenny Smith, TNT, NBA Player, Sports

Kenny Smith Makes More Money In 1 Year Than He Earned In Career As An NBA Player

After making $11,972,100 during his 10-year playing career in the NBA, Smith now earns $16 million a year as an analyst

New York native and former NBA player, Kenny “The Jet” Smith is currently a TNT host sharing duties with other ex-NBA players, Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley. While Shaq ($292,198,327) and Barkley ($37,505,000) made large sums of money during their playing days, Smith only made $11,972,100 while playing in the NBA. Now, as an analyst, Smith makes more in one year than he did his entire playing career.

According to Essentially Sports, “The Jet” currently takes home $16 million a year as a broadcaster on NBA on TNT. The former Houston Rockets player played 10 seasons in the NBA from 1987 until 1997, winning two championships with the Rockets in 1994 and 1995. After being drafted and playing for the Sacramento Kings for three years, he went to play for the Atlanta Hawks before joining the Rockets. After playing in Houston, he played for three more teams: the Detroit Pistons, the Orlando Magic, and the Denver Nuggets, where he ended his career.

In an interview with Houstonia magazine, Smith explained how his path landed him at TNT after leaving the sport.

“Retirement [came about] when I started to get a lot of one-year situations. Like every year uprooting your family, moving to a different place became a little strenuous. TNT used to bring in players every year. After one segment, one of the producers was like, “Hey, if you really want to do this, I think you’re good at it.” I thought it was just a parting gift they said to everyone. Toward the end of my career, I got a call from one of the producers, and he said, ‘I have an opportunity for you.” At that point, I made a career decision, and here I am 20-something years later.'”

Smith was the first of the current and former NBA players to join the TNT staff when he partnered with Ernie Johnson Jr. in 1998 on Inside the NBA. Barkley came aboard in 2000, and Shaq completed the quartet in 2011.

Two years ago, the network signed all four men to a long-term contract, keeping the team together for several more years.

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