CANTON, Mass. — Look good. Feel good. Play good.
If the old adage holds true this season, Marcus Smart could have a huge year for the Celtics, as the chippy guard undoubtedly looks good and feels good as Boston opens training camp Tuesday.
“He’s worked extremely hard,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who acknowledged the organization wanted Smart to lose weight this summer. “I credit Marcus mostly for wanting it and putting in the time. It’s refreshing to see and fun to see.”
Smart explained Monday that he wanted to lose weight because he dealt with back issues throughout the playoffs last season and wasn’t happy with his energy level late in games. He even was frustrated with the way his stomach stuck out when he was wearing a shirt.
Now, he’s all about showing off his slimmed-down look, to the point where his colleagues can’t help but poke fun at the 23-year-old.
“He’s wearing his tank top around, sometimes takes his shirt off,” Ainge joked. “(We say), ‘Marcus, put your shirt back on. We see the six-pack (abs), OK?’
“But seriously, it’s fun to see him. He’s got guys throwing alley-oops to him in pick-up games and when they have a timeout. That’s fun to see. I’m hoping that leads to a great year for him.”
Smart said he expects to be quicker and more explosive with his new physique, which should help him keep up with some of the more skilled guards in the NBA. The four-year veteran also insisted his newfound speed won’t come at the expense of his physicality, as all of his strength remains intact.
His teammate, Jaylen Brown, certainly is impressed.
“He looks good, man,” Brown said. “He’s moving a lot faster. He’s jumping a lot higher. It’s kind of weird to see him like that. To see him now, he’s like 25 pounds lighter. It’s like, ‘Who is this guy?’ ”
This guy could be an X-factor for the talent-laden Celtics if all goes according to plan.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images