"Inside the NBA" star Kenny Smith is showering NBA Commish Adam Silver with praise for being the FIRST major sports official to suspend the season -- telling TMZ Sports it was a true leadership moment.
Of course, Smith is back in L.A. because with the NBA on ice, so is his show -- "We're on hiatus just like the NBA."
That's when Smith went on to talk about how lucky the NBA is to have a leader like Silver -- who made a tough decision before other major sports leagues.
"I think overall leadership is about having a direct derivative and I think he's had a direct derivative from the start," Smith said.
"He understands the culture that we're in. He understands the world that we live in from human rights to human pandemics. He's always been ahead of the curve. We trust what he says because it's always clear."