OAKLAND, Calif. - Kenny Smith, a commentator on TNT's Inside the NBA, walked off set during Wednesday's live taping to stand in solidarity with the players who boycotted tonight's playoff games to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
"As a Black man, as a former player, I think it's best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight," he said before taking off his mic and leaving the set.
Before walking off, Smith expressed how he's trying to process and cope with the recent shooting of yet another Black man at the hands of police.
"Right now, my head is like ready to explode," he said.
Smith, who's NBA career spanned 10 years, said he can't stop thinking about what happened to Blake and so many others.
On his way out, Ernie Johnson said he respects Smith's decision to leave.
Johnson, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O'Neal finished the show in Smith's absence.
TNT analyst and former NBA player, Chris Webber, made an emotional plea.
He fought back tears as he shared how powerful the NBA boycott is and applauded the players for their stance.
"We understand it's not going to end but that does not mean young men that you don't do anything. Don't listen to these people telling you don't do anything because it's not going to end right away. You are starting something for the next generation and the next generation to take over."
The National Basketball Players Association said it backs players' demands for equality.
"They players have, once again, made it clear that they will not be silent on this issue. We stand with the decision of the players of the Milwaukee Bucks to protest the injustice and support the collective decision to postpone all of today's games," NBPA Director Michele Roberts said in a statement.