Marcus Smart is quickly getting acclimated with the Memphis Grizzlies after abruptly being traded by the Boston Celtics this offseason.

And so far, so good for the veteran guard.

Obviously, the blockbuster swap came as a shocker considering Smart’s value in both leadership and defense, but not one that’s triggered any hard feelings. Instead, Smart’s looking forward to the challenge ahead of continuing to fulfill that leadership role, only for a much younger and less experienced Memphis squad that’s made noise in the Western Conference in recent years.

“It’s been great,” Smart said, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “As they told you already, but you realize right away that this is a group of guys that are hungry. They want to win and are trying to get better. They’re asking me questions; we’re laughing and joking, but we’re excited.”

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Smart added: “I’ve never been fake, and anyone who knows me understands that. By doing that, it allows that genuineness to come out. Figuring out the balance and everything else will work itself out.”

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Smart’s departure from Boston closed a nine-year run with the Celtics in which the hard-nosed, blue-collar defender garnered plenty of respect from both teammates and fans.

Joining Boston in 2014, getting selected sixth overall in the draft, Smart experienced the worst of the worst amid the post-Big Three era. He was also around for Boston’s transition out of the grave, reaching an NBA Finals with the Celtics in 2021, coming up short against the Golden State Warriors.

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Now in Memphis, Smart remains a member of a title-contending squad, and it shouldn’t be too long until the Grizzlies crowd embraces him as well.

Featured image via Petre Thomas/USA TODAY Sports Images