On Monday night, Marcus Smart attended a game at his alma mater at Stillwater. With VP of Basketball Ops Mike Zarren and assistant coach Damon Stoudamire and several of his teammates in tow, the former Cowboy took in an OSU game against West Virginia. It’s been nine years since the Celtics point guard has worn the orange and black, but unsurprisingly, he still had an impact on the game.
After Mountaineer Erik Stevenson made his third three-pointer, he made a lewd act towards Smart and drew a technical foul with just over seven minutes left in the game. Stevenson would eventually foul out of the game and OSU rallied for a 67-60 win.
The following night, it was a different story. With the Celtics already trailing 111-83 late in the third quarter, Smart bristled at a non-shooting foul call at the rim after making contact with three Thunder players.
After briefly jawing with the sideline official, Smart started walking off the court after being subbed out for Payton Pritchard. Before reaching the bench, he had one last word with the referee Lauren Holtkamp who had made the call and was immediately T’ed up for the second time in the evening, warranting an automatic ejection. Holtkamp had whistled Smart for a technical earlier in the game as well. Head coach Joe Mazzulla and Sam Hauser briefly restrained Smart before he jogged back to the locker room. As fiery a player as Smart is, those were only his third and fourth technicals on the year and his first ejection. Jayson Tatum and Grant Williams lead Boston with six and five respectively.
It was a frustrating night all around for Smart and the Celtics. After the game, to a man, every player and coach that spoke to the media recognized their lack of effort and intention as the team has now dropped two straight on the road. Jaylen Brown said, “we let go of the rope completely which I haven’t seen from our team in a long time.” When Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was announced as out prior to the game, Malcolm Brogdon said the team collectively “took a deep breath and relaxed.” “We got outplayed in every aspect of the game,” Mazzulla said.
Smart made his feelings known on the floor and didn’t wait until the buzzer. And while Smart’s outburst was directed at the officials, for those of us who love and trust him, you’d have to imagine that most his angst was directed to the team and how poorly they were playing.