The first trade of his NBA career brought on a roller coaster of emotions for Marcus Smart.

In acquiring Kristaps Porzingis from the Washington Wizards, the Boston Celtics shipped Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies. Smart, drafted sixth overall by the C’s in 2014, reportedly was “blindsided” by the move but eventually pivoted to excitement about a new opportunity with a young, talented team.

In a recent interview with Grind City Media’s Chris Vernon, Smart revealed he cried as he processed the shift from Boston to Memphis. The tears weren’t exclusively shed out of sadness, though.

“I’ve cried because of the special relationship I have with the guys,” Smart told Vernon, as transcribed by MassLive. “I grew up with Jayson (Tatum) and Jaylen (Brown) their whole career, all of those other guys, even Al (Horford). Like I said before, a lot of those guys, Al, Jaylen, Jayson and those guys, when my mom passed away they were there. They’ve been through tough times with me so it was tough. Not only that, I’ve been there my whole life so that was tough.”

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Smart continued: “I also cried because I was excited as well because I get to start a new journey in my life. I’ve done everything I could do with that team. Jaylen and Jayson are great players and now it’s their time to grow into their own. That’s OK, that’s what it is but it was tough leaving those guys.”

It surely also was tough for the Celtics’ franchise cornerstones to watch Smart leave the organization he proudly represented for almost a decade. But as Tatum explained in a tribute post to his longtime teammate, the two will share a connection “forever.”

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