Marcus Smart is receiving high praise from The Glove.
NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton complimented the Boston Celtics guard when the two spoke on Yahoo! Sports’ “The Bounce” on Monday following the Celtics win over the Chicago Bulls. Payton, an 18-year NBA veteran who played one year in Boston during the 2004-05 season, told Smart he reminded him of himself.
“Young fella, I love ya,” Payton said. “You play both ends of the floor, man. You just keep doing both things, man. You remind me of myself, man. A lot, man.”
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) January 14, 2020
Payton, of course, earned the nickname “The Glove” in light of his defensive prowess, as he was the last guard to be named the 1996 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He also was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times. It’s a trait Smart clearly possesses as well.
Jayson Tatum referred to Smart as the “best defender in the league” Monday night, per the Boston Sports Journal’s Brian Robb.
Payton also gave Smart a piece of advice to carry with him throughout the year.
“You got to be that dude, be on that vocal side,” Payton said. “You go and take over. You go be the one to take over and say, ‘I’m going get everybody motivated every time.’ Because you got it in you. You got the dog in you. You’ll get them (Celtics) over the top.”
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/ USA TODAY Sports Images