Nick Saban, Kirby Smart turn pregame segment into hilarious pickup basketball discussion
Georgia and Alabama will meet Saturday in the SEC Championship Game in what will be the most anticipated game of the season to date.
The matchup will also pit former colleagues and good friends Kirby Smart and Nick Saban against each other, and the 2 coaches appeared together Friday night on “SEC Now.”
Interestingly enough, however, the discussion, which exhibited plenty of mutual respect, ended up being primarily about basketball.
“I respect Kirby as a competitor,” Saban said. “He was always on my team at noontime basketball, so I know what he’s like when it comes to doing a great job for his team and I respect that. You don’t have to dislike the people that you’re playing against … I’ve never been that way.”
Smart was then asked about those pickup basketball games and offered some amusing tales.
“(Saban) would pick the teams, and so he was the ref, he was the general manager, and he was the owner,” Smart said with a grin. “Fortunately, I got to play on his team. (Will) Muschamp got demoted once I got there. He wanted the younger, more talented guy. He didn’t want Will and Derek (Dooley) on his team anymore. We had some really physical battles.”
Smart also gave the now 70-year-old Saban some props about his skill set on the hardwood.
“He’s got unbelievable handles,” Smart said of Saban’s dribbling and ball control. “And he’s got an uncanny ability to bank a shot. You know the guy on Hoosiers that teaches you to hit the bank shot? He still uses the backboard. I grew up in a generation where the backboard, you didn’t count that, you had to go all net. He still uses the backboard.”
You can see the entire amusing segment in the video below:
Tomorrow two of the best in the game go head-to-head.
Nothing but respect between Kirby Smart and Nick Saban. pic.twitter.com/swAqhfwwvM
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 4, 2021