Marcus Smart poured his blood, sweat and tears into the Celtics' franchise— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) February 4, 2024
Emotions were high during his tribute video during for his return pic.twitter.com/sIxtWGUYbS
Smart embodied everything it meant to be a Celtic, bringing relentless hustle and heart to every minute he played in Boston. Before Smart was traded this summer in a three team deal that ultimately landed Kristaps Porzingis, he was the longest tenured player on the team by several years, evolving from a lottery pick to a sixth man to the leader of a bona fide contender.
The trade was a watershed moment in Celtics history, signifying the end of an era and showing that President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens would leave nothing off the table in the Celtics’ pursuit of Banner 18. The trade added a new dimension to the Celtics’ attack, but also forever changed the mood in TD Garden.
Many fans were shocked to hear Smart would wear any color other than Celtic green, with some believing he had already done enough to have his #36 retired by the Celtics. Both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown took to social media in the following days to thank their friend and teammate and promise to one day link back up to win a title together.
With the Celtics occupying the number one seed in the East and the Grizzlies season falling apart at the seams, Smart has had less than a cushy change of scenery. However, the Celtics’ recent struggles against teams that they vastly outgun has lead some—including CelticsBlog’s own Bill Sy—to speculate if Smart’s unrelenting energy is exactly what the Celtics need right now.
Smart was and continues to be a pillar of the Boston community, spearheading countless charitable efforts through his Young Gamechanger Foundation in the city and largely acting as the face of the Celtics’ robust community outreach for nearly a decade. The Celtics further honored his impact by naming him Sunday night’s “Hero Among Us,” a nightly award to honor someone who has left their impact on the city of Boston.