That is a better read on the context Rovelli was answering from, which seems to be with respect to general relativity. I don't know how much of his work on Loop Quantum Gravity has an impact on the view presented. I have tried to get through few of Lee Smolin's papers, but it is far beyond me. Still he uses the qualification, in the following sense or in this sense, which suggests.., to me.., he is responding from a theoretical perspective rather than some absolute position, of authority. Which is emphasized by the last sentence. Overall, it is more what I would expect in the way of an answer from a respected physicist. I disagree with the underlying implications... But as long as the discussion is limited to exploring the stand alone implications of GR, anything further would not be constructive.