Kenny Smith on the Stephen A. Smith Show

Kenny Smith caught plenty of flak for his comments Saturday during an All-Star event, but he told Stephen A. Smith Monday the controversy was “much ado about nothing.”

After the much-touted 3-point competition between NBA icon Steph Curry and WNBA star Sabrina Ionescu, Smith said Ionescu should have been allowed to shoot from the shorter WNBA 3-point distance.

Many fans thought Smith’s remarks were condescending to the WNBA player, and it got worse when his broadcast partner, Reggie Miller, asked “According to you, you want her to be playing with dolls.” Smith’s response: “Playing with dolls is good, too.”

Smith got roasted on social media for his remarks, but in an appearance on the Stephen A. Smith Show, he said he had been taken completely out of context.

“I think it’s much ado about nothing, honestly,” Kenny Smith said, when asked about the controversy. “Most people who know basketball understood what I was talking about. Actually, I was advocating for her, more than anything else, because basketball is muscle memory. So he practices from one range, she practices from another.

“There’s even a study … the guy who throws darts. And if you move him out even one step, his accuracy changes dramatically. So I’m like, ‘Why is (Curry) getting the advantage, to shoot at his line? That’s an advantages. It’s not gender, it’s not genetics.”

Smith makes an excellent point. Ionescu did face an unfair disadvantage in that respect. Perhaps he didn’t convey that thought as well as he could have during the broadcast, but it makes sense two days later.

As far as the blowback over the dolls exchange with Miller, Smith reiterated there’s nothing wrong with kids playing with dolls, and his comment had no malicious intent.

“I think when Reggie was joking around about, “Oh, she can play with dolls. … I have daughters, my thought when I first heard that was, ‘What’s wrong with that?'” You should play with dolls, and you can do sports,” Smith said.

Given Smith’s explanation, his comments take on an entirely different meaning. He’s certainly not the first person to have comments taken out of context to create viral stories, an issue he thinks is a problem in today’s culture.

“Most people just don’t check the tape, they want to just check the bait. My history and track record speaks for itself,” Smith said. “I was clueless why people thought I didn’t want equality.”

“Because they’re looking for a reason to hate to create headlines so they can get some clicks instead of getting a real job,” Stephen A. Smith chimed in.

[Stephen A. Smith Show; Photo Credit: Stephen A. Smith Show]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.