Marcus Smart hadn’t suited up for any other team besides the Boston Celtics for the last nine seasons, but that all changed during Opening Night for the 2023-24 season.

Smart, who was dealt in a three-team blockbuster to Memphis this offseason, debuted for the Grizzlies on Thursday night. Getting a new change of scenery for the first time since entering the NBA in 2014, the now-29-year-old guard had no issue getting acclimated with his new team.

“It was amazing. It’s a difference when you playing against Memphis and then when you actually playing for Memphis,” Smart told reporters after the Grizzlies fell to the Pelicans, per team-provided video. “So, it felt great to be out there with those guys and just kind of get a rhythm with them. You know, these guys have been playing together for a minute.”

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Running the floor as Memphis’ starting floor general, Smart scored 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting with three assists and two steals. Smart was one of three Grizzlies to finish in double-figures amid a poor shooting night from beyond the arc — Memphis shot just 12-of-43 from 3-point range (27.9%).

That leaves plenty of room for growth for a Grizzlies team positioned to once again make noise in the Western Conference.

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Making the transition from Boston to Memphis, Smart has some help with the added convenience of fellow Celtics alumn Tony Allen, who was hired by the Grizzlies as a player development coach in 2020.

Allen, well aware of Smart’s game, and nicknamed ‘The Grindfather,’ now refers to Smart — the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year — as ‘The GrindBrother.’ Smart struggled to contain his smile when addressing the new nickname in Memphis.

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“We all know T.A., what he did throughout his career, and how special he was so to have that type of acknowledgment from him bestowed upon me, I’ll take it and I’ll accept the honor,” Smart explained.

Featured image via Petre Thomas/USA TODAY Sports Images