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NBA broadcaster Kenny Smith faces backlash over Sabrina Ionescu remarks after 3-point contest



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by extreme hd iptv

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and New York Liberty sharpshooter Sabrina Ionescu put on a 3-point spectacle during NBA All-Star Weekend festivities on Saturday night.

It was the first time a 3-point contest between NBA and WNBA superstars occurred. Ionescu nearly topped Curry in the matchup but lost 29-26. Ionescu was shooting from the NBA 3-point line, which is about 12 to 18 inches farther from the WNBA line depending on the area of the floor. She used the WNBA basketball, which is smaller than the NBA basketball.

Ionescu was able to hold her own.

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Stephen Curry and Sabrina Ionescu

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu pose following their competition at All-Star weekend, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

“This was so authentic for the both of us to be able to be here, finally not in a closed gym, shooting in front of everyone watching and understanding what it means for ourselves but also the bigger picture,” she said afterward. “This is where I wanted to be…. It’s changed the landscape of how people view what we’re doing.”

The commentary during the matchup was something that caught the eye of viewers. Basketball fans were particularly upset with TNT broadcaster Kenny Smith and his suggestion after Curry had only beaten Ionescu by three points.

“She should have shot it from the women’s line,” the former Houston Rockets guard said. “That would have been a fair contest. I still support Sabrina. But she should have shot it from at the women shoot from.”

Smith’s broadcast partner, Reggie Miller, wondered why Smith would want those boundaries on her when “she wanted to shoot from there.”

“She should have shot from the line. There is a women’s tee in golf and there is a men’s tee for a reason,” he added.

Kenny Smith talks Pelicans and Lakers

Kenny Smith, before the game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 7, 2023, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. (Mike Kirschbaum/NBAE via Getty Images)

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After an awkward exchange about playing with dolls, Smith said he wanted Ionescu to shoot from where she shoots from in the WNBA.

Smith was immediately met with criticism.

“Kenny Smith was an absolute clown last night lol,” Savage Sports wrote on X. “Sabrina Ionescu narrowly loses to Steph Curry in the 3 point contest.  She would’ve tied the other men for the lead. And all Kenny Smith has to add is ‘she still should’ve shot from the women’s 3 point line.’ NBA probably should do better than that lol.”

“Still thinking about Kenny Smith’s commentary during the Steph/Sabrina event,” ESPN’s Justin Tinsley wrote, adding that Smith came off “condescending as hell.”

ABC’s LZ Granderson added: “That was a chance to be an elder statesman… he decided otherwise.”

“We needed a woman on the headsets, too. So much nuance & storytelling missed,” WNBA legend Sue Bird wrote.

The Athletic’s Andrew Marchand panned Smith’s commentary in a column, saying he “spoiled an otherwise great 3-point contest moment.” He added that Smith’s comments should have been made before the contest started.

Sabrina Ionescu shoots

New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu shoots during a competition against Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry at All-Star weekend, Feb. 17, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

“What Smith said as the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry edged out the New York Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu in a made-for-great-TV 3-point contest was distracting because of its lack of logic and timing,” he wrote. “We watched a fun sports Picasso, and Smith could strangely only talk about the canvas not being exactly right in his eyes.”

The competition raised money for each of their foundations. While the competition was fierce, they both left with smiles on their faces.

“I don’t know what’s going to come out of it, but me and Sabrina talked about how cool of an opportunity it is to do something that’s never been done before in our game,” Curry said.

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“And for her to have a presence on this stage is going to do a lot to inspire the next generation of young boys and girls that want to compete and see themselves in either one of us. Wherever it goes from there, we know we can kind of plant our flag as doing something really special.”

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.



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