Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown already had his turn explaining what happened during a Christmas Day scuffle with Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Now, Marcus Smart gave his side of the story following Boston’s 116-110 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night at TD Garden.
Smart played a part in the fracas by not getting into it with Antetokounmpo, but for having a heated exchange with his older brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo. Smart was standing on the edge of the court when the elder Antetokounmpo made sure his feelings were known to the Celtics guard with Bucks veteran George Hill standing between the two.
“It’s competitive. His brother got into it and we were all taught as kids, as siblings, you stand up for your brother,” Smart told reporters. “When Giannis and JB kind of got into it, he jumped up and kind of pushed me in the back trying, I don’t know, to get on the court somehow. I’m just telling him, ‘Calm down. Nothing’s going on. This is as far as it’s going to go. There’s too much respect for both teams out here. Trust me. This is as far as it’s going to go.’
“And of course we all know, the officials are going to step in, so it’s not going to get that far. I’m just telling him to calm down. But somebody’s picking on his brother, and him being the oldest, you know how that goes.”
After Smart and Thanasis Antetokounmpo were separated, Smart seemed to gesture that if they wanted to continue the conversation, they could do so by the locker rooms.
“It was an invitation if he wanted to,” Smart said.
It never got that far and whether it was just getting riled up in the moment or having a few days to calm down, Smart doesn’t have any hard feelings toward the Antetokounmpos.
“I have respect for both, Giannis and Thanasis. It’s through the roof,” Smart said. “That’s why when I came out the game I went over to him, shook his hand and said, ‘We good, man. Just relax. I promise you, there’s too much respect out here.’ … He’s doing his job. I can’t even be mad at him. If my brother was into it as well, I’d be on the same type time he was on.”