Celtics' Marcus Smart joins CNN to discuss coronavirus pandemic, positive test

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Celtics' Marcus Smart joins CNN to discuss coronavirus pandemic, positive test

Since Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus last week, several more players have followed with positive tests. On Thursday, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart announced he was one of them.

Smart's announcement assured everyone he has been self-quarantining and he hasn't shown any symptoms of the virus. He also sent a crucial reminder of the importance of washing one's hands during this crisis.

Friday, Smart echoed those sentiments on CNN with Chris Cuomo. The 26-year-old described his reaction to finding out he had the virus, and what he's been up to since the positive test.

"I found out yesterday evening sometime. And for me, it was just like a surprise, you know, because like I said, I feel fine. I haven't had any symptoms," Smart said. "So for me, like when they told me I had it, I was just like, oh, wow. You know, and it definitely really makes you alert to what's going on. In the situation.

"I've actually been taking isolation -- the quarantine very, very seriously. I've been quarantined for a while now. Ever since we got back from our road trip and decided to get the team tested. I have been quarantined ever since. Doing everything I'm supposed to. Washing my hands. Germ-x. Everything."

Asked if he is concerned about having the virus in the midst of the pandemic, Smart made it clear there is no need to worry about his health.

"Actually, I'm not -- I'm not that concerned at all," he said. "You know, like I said, I feel fine. No symptoms. And I talked to my doctors and they feel the exact same way with me. And they just told me, you know, you haven't really experienced any symptoms yet. I mean, you already being quarantined. So you should be on that last curve of the ball. And so everybody in my corner feels great on this end. And we just ready to finally get this behind us. And move on, like I said.

"But we're taking the steps to make sure we keep, you know, everybody else safe around me. My loved ones. And just people out in the streets and making sure we keep the contact limitless and just quarantine. That's the biggest key is just really isolating yourself."

Lastly, Smart explained how even if someone like himself isn't showing symptoms, they should still quarantine themselves to prevent potentially spreading the virus to others unknowingly.

"And that's the key. That's the key right there. Because people that contract the virus can be asymptomatic and not show any symptoms is really hard for anyone to know that they have the virus," Smart said. "And being around a group of people, being around friends and family, and, you know, really not isolating yourself, you are a carrier and you become spreading the virus around with not even knowing. And that's the biggest key because you can't tell just by looking at somebody whether they have it or not because they can still look healthy and normal. And still have it and spread it. And then that's where we get the problem where we have now. I advise, especially around my generation, I'm 26. Take it seriously.

"You know, be positive. I'm okay. I'm going to be okay. But definitely, be alert to what's going on and take the precautions to not only protect yourself. By protecting yourself, you protect others."

Other NBA players to test positive for the coronavirus so far along with Smart and Gobert are Donovan Mitchell, Kevin Durant, Christian Wood, and two unnamed Los Angeles Lakers players. The Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets announced members of the organization have tested positive, though it's currently unclear whether any of them were players.

Jalen Rose reveals why he predicts Celtics will win Eastern Conference

Jalen Rose reveals why he predicts Celtics will win Eastern Conference

The hype is starting to build around the Boston Celtics.

Less than 24 hours after the NBA announced a 22-team season return plan that will take place in Florida beginning in July, a prominent NBA analyst has predicted the C’s will get back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.

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ESPN’s Jalen Rose was on Thursday’s edition of “NBA Countdown” and had some positive comments on the Celtics and why he thinks they’ll win the Eastern Conference.

“In a neutral situation, the way the season is about to be shotgun started again, I’m taking the Celtics in the East,” Rose said. “I’m taking the Celtics in the East, because one of the great things about the Bucks – of course, their game does travel – but their home court was a huge advantage for them, a major advantage. If we’re playing pickup ball, and the Celtics and Bucks players are in the gym, I’m going to pick Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the next four or five picks are going to be Celtics. That’s my choice to come out of the East.

The Bucks have played well pretty much everywhere this season and lead the East with a 53-12 record, but Rose is right, they are definitely better at home. Milwaukee owns the second-best home record in the East at 28-3. The Celtics own the third-best road record in the conference at 20-12.

But Rose doesn’t just like the Celtics because they can win on a neutral court. He also pointed to Boston’s roster construction and style of play as reasons why it could surprise people in this unusual playoff setting.

“I’m loving teams like the Celtics and the Rockets,” Rose said. “Small ball, spread it out and take advantage of the big guys that can’t score against little guys. That’s really what it’s gonna be. It’s gonna be like AAU out there. These dudes have been off for months, so if dudes like Russell Westbrook and James Harden can get hot – he’s averaging 40 and then Russ? Boston’s winning the East. The more I think about this — God, strike me down. I hadn’t said this out of my mouth or even thought about it one time until we had this conversation, until right now. Boston’s winning the East, and don’t sleep on Houston in the West, but they’re not better than the Lakers or the Clippers.”

The Celtics are well-equipped to win the Eastern Conference. They are the only team in the conference with three players averaging 20-plus points per game. Jayson Tatum leads the team with 23.6 points per night, and before the shutdown he was taking his game to a superstar level. Kemba Walker is another go-to scorer, and the long layoff has given his knee ample time to build strength. Jaylen Brown also was having a breakout season, and Gordon Hayward was playing at an All-Star level for long stretches. Boston’s bench also is quite deep, with head coach Brad Stevens often giving minutes to nine or 10 guys each game.

Boston also has shown an ability to win against elite teams. The C’s have beaten the Bucks, Lakers, Clippers, 76ers, Raptors, Nuggets and several other top teams at least once in 2019-20.

One of the most exciting things about this NBA season has been its unpredictability. We have five or six teams, and maybe more, with a legit chance of getting to the NBA Finals, and we rarely see that in today’s era. It’s going to make for a wild playoffs, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all if one or two teams make a surprisingly deep run and pull off a few upsets.

Celtics At Home: Grant Williams details life as Kemba Walker's roommate

Celtics At Home: Grant Williams details life as Kemba Walker's roommate

Boston Celtics teammates Grant Williams and Kemba Walker haven't been able to step on the court together for the last couple of months, but they've still seen plenty of one another since the NBA season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walker extended Williams an offer to live with him at his house in Charlotte, North Carolina during quarantine, and the rookie gladly accepted. Williams recently talked about his experience living with Walker, saying "it’s been amazing" and the two have gotten to know each other much better over the last few weeks.

In NBC Sports Boston's latest edition of "Celtics At Home," Williams talked to Abby Chin about who has been taking care of all of the cooking and cleaning during his time living with Walker.

"I actually just let the dogs out to use the bathroom outside right before I got on this call," Williams told Chin. "In regards to cooking and cleaning, we're pretty clean people. So we do our best to keep everything tidy. But cooking, he has his own chef and she does a phenomenal job of taking care of the both of us now and I'm thankful for her, Chef Chianti, and I thought about hiring her too. We're enjoying that, and the times we're on our own we just kind of either order something or make. Kemba's not that bad of a cook and I'm not either so we've been enjoying the time."

As for his favorite meal to make?

"I love cooking Asian stir fry," Williams answered. "I add a lot of things to it, my dad taught me how to make it. Then there's these dirty green beans we make and all this other stuff that we have, so those are probably my two favorite."

Williams also chats with Abby about the impact on his body the NBA has vs. college, his biggest non-basketball accomplishment, and more. Also joining us on the latest episode of "Celtics At Home" are Cedric Maxwell, Sean Grande, Kyle Draper, and Brian Scalabrine for a game of Celtics Census.

Watch the full "Celtics At Home" episode below, or on our YouTube page: