CANTON, Mass. — It’s a complex issue that seems to be rather simple for Boston Celtics veteran guard Marcus Smart.
Smart believes players on the Celtics should be told more about the ongoing situation involving suspended head coach Ime Udoka, given their standing and connection to the coach. He wishes it was the case. But Smart also understands the process, and thus understands why the Celtics front office can’t be fully transparent with the players.
“I mean, yes,” Smart said during Celtics media day Monday when asked if he thinks the organization owes it to players to tell them more, “but we don’t know what the organization knows so it’s kind of hard to say that.
“We don’t know what they know so we don’t know what they are supposed to tell us, or what we’re supposed to know,” Smart continued. “And I think this is where this is at and why it is what it is. Because literally no one knows anything right now. We’re still waiting just like everybody else.
“As a player you would like to (know), but at the same time that’s none of our business. It’s their lives. It’s people who are involved, it’s between them. We should respect their privacy, and we understand, just like we all want our privacy respected. So although as a player, yeah, you would like to know, but like I said, it’s not an obligation.”
Celtics teammate Jaylen Brown admitted, like Smart, he wished the organization told the players more about the situation. It kept Brown from making a comment or offering his feelings on the matter, and he also shared how it was difficult to back the organization’s swift response given he didn’t know the details. Smart, however, confirmed he is comfortable with how the team has handled the situation given “privacy” concerns, as previously referred to by Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck.
“Like I said, they handled it the best way they could, with how they can do it, with what they know,” Smart said. “And you just gotta go from there.”
Udoka, who has been suspended by the organization for the 2022-23 season, reportedly was involved in an improper relationship with a Celtics female staffer. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported last week Udoka made “unwanted” comments to the staffer after the relationship previously started as “consensual.” While the Celtics did not go into detail regarding the situation, Grousbeck confirmed the suspension was due to multiple violations of the team’s policy.
Additional reports from Entertainment Tonight and TMZ surfaced over the weekend shedding light into Udoka’s connection to the staffer, who reportedly was handling his travel arrangements and those of his longtime fiancée Nia Long, and the events which led to the scandal being discovered.
Follow along with NESN’s coverage of Celtics media day here.