Home Sport Kenny Smith hat Sabrina Ionescus NBA-Moment ruiniert

Kenny Smith hat Sabrina Ionescus NBA-Moment ruiniert

von NFI Redaktion

Let’s take a look at some comments after Steph Curry and Sabrina Ionescu faced off in a 3-point contest on Saturday evening, with Curry leading the Liberty star with just 3 points (29-26), both shooting from NBA range.

„I didn’t shy away from the challenge of taking on the best shooter this game has ever seen,“ said Ionescu to Malika Andrews.

„She wasn’t afraid of the moment, she wasn’t afraid of the stage, and she embraced it,“ said Curry. And then…

„She should have shot from the 3-point line that the women shoot from,“ said Kenny Smith on the TNT broadcast, just as Ionescu and Curry embraced on the court. And he said it again. And again.

For Ionescu or women’s sports, there’s no need to put on pompoms, but too many broadcasters are quick to point out that women’s participation, records, or fan base are somehow lesser. That’s not apathy, that’s full-on shade.

And if Ionescu, as Smith postulated, had shot from the WNBA arc and beaten Curry, it wouldn’t have garnered the respect that tying the All-Star 3-point champion Damian Lillard on the same court brought. But for anyone wanting to dismiss Ionescu, there’s no arc, no ball, no shoe, no night, and no opponent that would have been just right for the discount crew. They just don’t like porridge, period.

Smith got the time and place wrong to voice his complaint, but it also cost TNT to deny these participants their moment and to gain curious viewers tuning in to watch this event.

„We also needed a woman on the headsets,“ Sue Bird posted on social media. „So many nuances and storytelling are missing. 26 is 26, but (fire emoji)“

Bird is spot on. Why on earth not bring someone like Candace Parker, who has played in the WNBA and reported on both leagues, to provide the nuance and context that a game like this deserves? There are plenty of people equipped for this, like former Knicks broadcaster, Liberty player, and Pelicans vice president of basketball operations Swin Cash or 76ers broadcaster Kate Scott.

There are new fans tuning into the spectacle of such an event, and instead of transforming them into regular viewers, these broadcasters are sending a clear message: you can watch, but you’re still an outsider.

Any woman who has ever listened to a sports talk radio show or sports talk show where a male host starts using dating comparisons to talk about players knows what I mean. You don’t marry a 10, for example, but he’s a reliable point guard, blah blah blah. The conversation makes you realize they’re not talking to you, they’re talking to him. He’s the audience, you’re just there.

This is unfortunately not a one-off situation. Look at this year’s Super Bowl broadcast on CBS. Many fans were waiting for the moment when Travis Kelce, fresh off his second consecutive championship, would reunite with Taylor Swift at the celebration. The hosts in the feed ignored that moment that happened in front of them to discuss a few ’statistical‘ things and then, inappropriately for the moment, the passing of Norma Hunt – before Nate Burleson intervened and apologized for getting to the point for many viewers. „I know we want to talk about football right now, but watching Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift…“

Catharsis doesn’t hinder football. The game is over. They’re not too high and mighty to notice what’s actually happening.

Fox Sports insists on using Alexi Lalas on the women’s World Cup games, and last summer he referred to the women’s team as „unsympathetic“ and „polarizing.“ Why doesn’t he decline the paycheck, but he doesn’t bring any value as an analyst and hasn’t won internationally enough to justify the lifetime appointment that seems to have been granted to him? Is that really the best Fox can do?

Then there’s Jay Williams, who had to take on Caitlin Clark’s record-breaking moment and said she wouldn’t be a really great player until she won a national NCAA title. It’s worth mentioning that Williams chose a little-known program named Duke, while Clark chose a basketball giant named Iowa. Oh, wait, flip that around. Williams participated in a multi-year tournament, while Clark created one.

Whenever I prepared to do sports talk radio or „First Take“ or „SportsCenter,“ I had to cram as if I were about to take the SAT. What were the stats, what was the context? The last thing you want is to be held accountable because you don’t know something or you got something wrong, and then it happens.

So I can tell you. These commentators aren’t doing their job.

They’re working where they want – I’m sure they know a lot about the men they oversee and watch, but are they doing the same job on the women’s side? And if so, then they’re doing a terrible job of being able to conjure up that genuine moment.

Smith really botched it by bringing forth the moment with his lame opinion rather than the fact that he’s a broadcaster. While the crowd cheered and Curry and Ionescu embraced, Smith continued with some nonsense about the size of the WNBA ball and the placement of the arc.

Like the failure of the CBS crew during the Super Bowl, don’t just call it a competition, call it an event. What are we watching? Put it in context. Actual context, Kenny, not the stereotypes and prejudices that clutter your brain.

This wasn’t the first crossover event to draw attention from „Battle of the Sexes.“ Golfer Annika Sorenstam played The Colonial in 2003, and her Thursday round set a new record for USA Network on the first day of a PGA tournament. Danica Patrick had a similar effect on racing. These are moments that are about garnering an audience for a sport. Even if it looked like the NFL couldn’t be more of a monolith, Taylor Swift shows up to the games and suddenly it’s the most-watched Super Bowl in history and the women’s presence in the audience rises to 48 percent. Damn, Billie Jean King was able to boost the WTA after her victory over Bobby Riggs in 1973. Some would argue that that game laid the groundwork for the modern era of women’s sports.

These events fertilize each other’s fan bases, and that means there’s a lot of room for the WNBA to grow. But whether it’s the US Open or the Olympics: when men and women compete in the same place, it’s beneficial for all participating athletes.

„Thank you for shining a light on men’s soccer,“ Malika Andrews joked after her interview with Ionescu, eliciting a laugh from the Liberty guard.

And that’s how a show like this works.

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