Marcus Smart was just making a Marcus Smart play when he dove for a loose ball that resulted in the injury of Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry last week. Despite Steve Kerr’s frustrations at the moment, it’s safe to say that everybody knew it then and knows it now. This is Smart’s game; he’s a bull in a china shop, no matter the consequences.
But when diving for a loose ball results in a long-term injury — one that will reportedly keep Curry sidelined until April, if not later — speculation is bound to proliferate. Thankfully, Curry all but put those ideas of intent to rest yesterday, telling reporters that, no, he didn’t feel like Smart’s play was malicious nor dirty.
“There’s a certain way that he plays that I don’t think many other people would’ve made the play that he did,” Curry said. “But I don’t think it was malicious or dirty or that he was trying to hurt me. It’s just a tough situation.
“Like I said, just the way that he plays,” he continued. “There’s a conversation just around ‘should he or shouldn’t he have,’ but it wasn’t like he looked at me and was like ‘I’m trying to hurt that dude. It’s basketball.”
“I don’t think it was malicious or dirty or that he was trying to hurt me.”— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) March 21, 2022
Steph Curry on Marcus Smart play where he was injured pic.twitter.com/2lyHcU0r0Q
Curry is sidelined indefinitely with a sprained ligament in his left foot, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. X-rays did not show fractures or major damage. The injury, which came in the second quarter, quickly became the story of the game, despite the Celtics’ blowing out the home squad.
After the game, Smart was adamant that hurting Curry — or anyone, for that matter — is never his goal. “Everybody who knows me knows I’m not trying to hurt anybody,” he said. “I play hard. I leave it all on the line. I leave my life on the line on this court every single night. I made a play that I make every night and unfortunately, and it’s killing me right now, Steph got hurt.”
As for what he and Steve Kerr discussed following Steph’s injury, Smart noted that the Warriors’ coach, understandably, was doing he’s supposed to do: backing his player. But Smart also made it clear that he and Kerr were hardly at one another’s throats.
“Me and Steve got a relationship from [Team] USA that we can talk like that,” Smart said. “And afterwards, he told me, ‘I want you on my team. You’re one of those type of guys that everybody wants on a team. I had to back my guy up, much respect to you guys.’ That’s what it’s all about. Like I said, I hate that it happened, and I feel really bad, and I hope he’s alright.”
The interaction between Marcus Smart and Steve Kerr after Steph Curry was headed for the locker room. pic.twitter.com/y0NbQ20Upp— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) March 17, 2022
That Curry isn’t fully alright was never Smart’s intention. It’s just good to know that all parties involved know that to be true.