By Rob Peterson
GONE FISHIN': 2005 Gallery | Kenny's Cabin
May 6 -- He doesn't fish, but Alex Houvouras knows a good catch when he sees one.
Houvouras, a broadcast graphics designer with Turner Sports, is one of the many people who has a hand in creating the hilarious "Gone Fishin'" pictures featuring studio analyst Kenny Smith for TNT's Inside the NBA.
After the Kings were terminated from the 2005 NBA Playoffs, the Terminator and Kenny Smith joined them on a little fishin' trip.
: 2005 Gallery
| Kenny's Cabin
Courtesy Turner Sports
"['Gone Fishin'' is] really Kenny's baby," Houvouras said. "He started it before I got there."
When a team is eliminated from the NBA Playoffs, specifically a game shown on TNT, the loquacious Mr. Smith says that team has "Gone Fishin.'" And while Smith started the "Gone Fishin'" goof, it's Houvouras, and a few other enterprising Turner staffers led by Inside the NBA's executive producer Tim Kiely who have raised the child.
"In the process of watching the show," Houvouras said, "I'd always come up with little visual jokes and started creating pictures to match what was being said."
One day, that bit of inspired fooling around found its way on the air. The first one, Houvouras said, came as a shock to the guys on the set.
"I think we surprised the guys on the set with it," Houvouras said. "TK [Kiely] and the other producers can watch what I'm doing on the monitor, so they're aware of what's going on.
"But the first one we did, I don't think Kenny knew it was coming."
As for the process, well, it's pretty simple. "Depending on how much time they give me," Houvouras said, he surfs (how appropriate) the web for fishing photos to use and then it takes anywhere from five minutes to an hour from start to finish.
"You'd be surprised to find out how proud people are to put their fish pictures on the web," Houvouras said. "There's a million of 'em. People put them on their personal web sites. There are charter sites. They put pictures of the crews and charters, I just do searches for 'fishes' and 'fishing.'"
Houvouras isn't alone when it comes to creating the Gone Fishin' pictures either.
"I sit with four or five people in a room at work and we all bounce things off each other," Houvouras said. "When a good idea gets tossed out, you kind of run with that.
"TK really allows us a great deal of freedom to try new and occasionally outrageous things. They rein you in when you get a little too crazy when they have to."
It's hard to imagine anything crazier than Danny Ainge in a Speedo, a "Gone Fishin'" which Houvouras called one of the best. As for his for his overall favorite, well, that's a tough call.
"They're like your children," Houvouras said. "I love them all equally."