Houston Matters

That time Shaq kidnapped Kenny Smith’s son

Former Houston Rocket and longtime NBA analyst Kenny Smith recalls the time Shaquille O’Neal absconded with his son – one of many stories in Smith’s new memoir, Talk of Champions.


Inside the NBA analyst and former Houston Rocket Kenny Smith.


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Longtime Houstonians remember Kenny Smith as one of the key cogs on the Houston Rockets' championship squads of 1994 and 1995. After his playing career ended, he began a second act as a TV analyst, part of TNT's Inside the NBA, and on NCAA March Madness coverage on CBS.

Now Smith is out with a new book called Talk of Champions: Stories of The People Who Made Me: A Memoir.

In the audio above, he tells Houston Matters host Craig Cohen about some of the major figures who have had a strong impact on his life, like his first coach in the NBA, Bill Russell, and his Houston Rockets teammate Hakeem Olajuwon.

Also included in that list: His fellow Inside the NBA analyst Shaquille O'Neal, who Smith recalls, once “kidnapped” Smith's son from a Houston area school. That and other stories are a part of the memoir, which focuses more on life lessons learned from these and other figures, most of whom readers will recognize.

MORE: Kenny Smith says his Rockets would’ve beaten Jordan

Houston Rockets guard Kenny Smith celebrates after his team swept the Orlando Magic to win their second straight NBA championship in 1995.
Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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