You had to anticipate that tempers would flare up among the Boston Celtics in Tuesday’s game against Washington, especially Marcus Smart who is one of the team’s more emotionally-charged players.
But Tuesday was different, especially down the stretch when Smart got into a shouting match with multiple Celtics assistant coaches on the bench.
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He initially had words with assistant coach Walter McCarty, and then got into a heated exchange with assistant Jerome Allen as guard Terry Rozier stepped in between them. Not soon after that, another assistant, Jamie Young, was seen talking to Smart and soon after Jae Crowder stepped in between their conversation. He eventually went back to the locker room, with teammate Amir Johnson jogging back there with him.
“Coaches and players, they’re real passionate about the game,” Smart said. “When losing, they have different opinions about certain things on the bench."
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Smart wanted to get back into the game.
When pressed on the Smart blowup with his assistant coaches, “he wanted to go back in badly.”
Said Smart: “Of course I wanted to go back in, just like everybody else to play it out and give everything they have, leave it on the court. We had different opinions on that.”
Smart had played eight minutes and five seconds in the fourth quarter, which trailed only Jonas Jerebko (11:17) and Isaiah Thomas (9:31) in terms of fourth-quarter minutes.
It’s unclear if the incident will be put behind them quickly, or if there’s an additional team-sanctioned punishment that will be doled out.
Smart also released a statement via social media.
To my teammates and coaches... pic.twitter.com/6HtN3FWb8Y— marcus smart (@smart_MS3) January 25, 2017
Smart, filling in for an injured Avery Bradley (right Achilles strain), had 13 points on 4-for-13 shooting with five rebounds and a game-high four steals while playing 32:34, which trailed Jae Crowder by nine seconds and Thomas by two minutes, 24 seconds.