Marcus Smart’s competitive spirit isn’t limited to the NBA regular season.
Smart and the rest of the U.S. men’s national basketball team currently are in training as they prepare for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Doubts already linger over Team USA given the number of notable dropouts over the past month, and Wednesday’s effort certainly won’t inspire any optimism about the group.
Team USA was handily defeated in a scrimmage against a Jeff Van Gundy-coached select team comprised of G League and overseas players. In typical Smart fashion, the fiery guard made sure he let his team know that its performance was not acceptable.
It’s this kind of passion that has endeared Smart among Boston Celtics fans, and it’s something Team USA could use as it tries to go deep in the tournament without most of the NBA’s top American players.
The FIBA World Cup is set to tip off Saturday, Aug. 31. Team USA will play its first game the following day against Czech Republic.