Marcus Smart Opens Up About Early-Season Criticism Of Celtics Stars

'They're only going to get better'


April 6, 2022

The Boston Celtics have come a long, long way since the fall and early winter.

The C’s didn’t just look like a bad basketball team over the first two months of the season — they were bordering on dysfunctional. One of the more memorable moments of Boston’s rough patch was when Marcus Smart took aim at Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in early November. The Celtics’ longest-tenured player criticized the young franchise cornerstones for not passing the ball even though opposing defenses put great emphasis on them.

Smart never really addressed the matter after making those comments, at least not publicly. The seventh-year pro finally did so in a 1-on-1 interview with NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg on Tuesday.

From Smart, as transcribed by NBCSB:

Yeah, but even back with the whole Jays comment, you know, it really did get taken out of context. And I haven’t really spoke on it, for the simple fact because it wasn’t something, like I said, that it was worth giving my energy to.

Because, end of the day, what I said and if you really listen closely, and you were in that meeting, I said, for other teams, this is their scouting report. Other teams are saying this about our team, when it comes to our two best players. And we, as a team, have to do a better job at helping them help us as a team to get better.

And they’re only going to get better. But they have to get better at this, something that, for us to be good, it?s something that they have to get better. And, ultimately, by them doing that, the whole team is getting better at that and it’s shown, with the beginning of this year and the second half of the season for us.

Those two guys have stepped up their play and them developing and growing exponentially in the right way that this team needs. It’s only been making the team even better.

The Smart fiasco now feels like eons ago. The Celtics enter Wednesday as the second seed in the Eastern Conference with three games left on their regular-season schedule. Boston will enter the playoffs with legitimate NBA Finals aspirations, and its big three of Smart, Brown and Tatum is a major reason why.

Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images
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