Originally written on Awful Announcing  |  Last updated 11/19/14
2009_ante_up_043e
In the last year, we've wondered whether Charles Barkley's time on Inside the NBA may be winding down.  Barkley himself has spoken of different challenges and opportunities and the time may be approaching when it's time for Chuck to try something new.  Now comes a report that Barkley's longtime partner - Kenny "The Jet" Smith, may leave Inside the NBA.  Smith has publicly thrown his hat into the ring for the Sacramento Kings GM job as well as saying he's seriously looking at jobs on the sideline and in the front office. Smith admitted he was "talking" to the Kings and told Sam Amick of USA Today he's seriously looking at new opportunities: Smith wasn't afraid to campaign for his own cause, admitting that he's looking for his next challenge after becoming one of the most prominent and entertaining voices in the basketball world. "I've been winning my whole life," Smith said. "I've been blessed to be a winner. So whatever happens, whatever I do, I'm going to win an Emmy next year or I'm going to try to win an NBA championship or I'm going to try to win in cards. I'm a winner. I'm a winner. I've been blessed in my whole life, so I think I have a clear vision." Smith was selected sixth overall by the Kings in the 1987 draft out of North Carolina, then played his first two-plus seasons there before he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks. He won two championships with the Houston Rockets (1994, 1995), and averaged 12.8 points and 5.5 assists per game in his 10-year career. Asked if he has been on the lookout for front office opportunities, Smith said, "Honestly, I've been looking at both — coaching, and a lot of things have been coming these last couple of years, and this time I've been taking it serious. My kids are at an age where I feel comfortable. And the other years, the kids were just too young. I didn't want to be in it. But I just started taking it serious."   Kenny Smith is the forgotten man on Inside the NBA.  He's not the celebrity figure that is relatively new addition Shaquille O'Neal.  He's not Ernie Johnson, who is widely regarded as the best studio host in sports.  He's not his longtime partner Charles Barkley, who is a lock for any "Best Studio Analyst" award but may also be the most entertaining personality in all of sports television.  Kenny Smith is the glue guy though, and every great team needs a glue guy to succeed.  Smith has developed that chemistry with EJ and Barkley over a decade to the point where removing any of the three would dramatically affect the overall product.  More than anything, it's the overall chemistry of the show that has made it into an institutional success.  Inside the NBA is that rare product where the individual parts are all fantastic, but the sum is even greater still. Smith has worked at Turner Sports since 1998, which is almost impossible to believe.  It's hard to imagine Inside the NBA without him, but there's precedence with analysts moving into front office roles as fellow TNT colleagues Steve Kerr and Danny Ainge have.  Regardless of whether or not Smith takes the Kings job, it appears he's very intent on entering the coaching or front office ranks.  If so, it could mean the award winning run of Inside the NBA as we know it may be coming to an end sooner rather than later. [USA Today]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michigan brass in Bay Area for Jim Harbaugh pursuit

Report: Rex Ryan has already cleaned out his office

Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Alex Smith out Week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

Doug Fister bought Starbucks for his Twitter followers

DeMarco Murray dumped over cheating accusations?

Video: Rudy Gay tosses half-court alley-oop to McLemore

WATCH: Craig Sager is touched by outpouring of support during leukemia fight

Hiroki Kuroda returns to Japan, ditches Yankees

Kevin Garnett: ‘Very weird’ to see Celtics without Rajon Rondo

Report: New Jersey Devils fire head coach Peter DeBoer

Mark Richt confirms Todd Gurley will leave UGA for NFL

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Murray dumped over cheating scandal?

Rex Ryan has cleaned out his office

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.