Whenever Marcus Smart fires up 3-pointers at TD Garden, it’s easy to hear a collective “Noooo!” from Boston Celtics fans.
Well, Smart hears you, Green Teamers, but he’s not about to change the way he plays.
“And it’s funny,” Smart recently told the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett, “because those same people that yell when I shoot it are the same ones that are saying, ‘We need you.’ And then the next time I shoot, I guess they don’t need me. So, I mean, it is what it is.
“I know what I’m worth. This team knows what I’m worth. And people who really know basketball know the type of player I am. So I’m not really worried about those other guys who are fake fans or bandwagon fans or into the popularity game.”
Smart, of course, isn’t exactly Reggie Miller from beyond the arc. Although, his 3-point percentage last season (.301) was an improvement from the season before (.283), as well as a significant improvement from two seasons prior (.253).
Furthermore, the fact Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has enabled Smart to continue shooting, instead of discouraging him from launching 3-pointers, is one of the main reasons Smart loves playing for Boston.
“I know the NBA is about popularity, and I know I’m not a popular guy,” Smart said. “My game isn’t popular. I’m not a flashy guy. I’m not trying to cross you over three or four times and make you fall. I’m trying to play right basketball, and that’s get my teammates involved whenever I need to.
“And whenever I’m open, I’m going to take the shot, because that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life, and this team gives me the opportunity to do that — and I have the confidence to do it. My shots are going to fall. I’m not really worried about it.”
Smart’s often-incalculable impact on games is one of the primary factors in why the Celtics reportedly want to re-sign him this offseason. However, his shooting woes likely will limit how much Boston and other teams are willing to offer.
Still, Smart himself believes he should be paid like one of the NBA’s best guards.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images