This Wednesday is Marcus Smart Day here at NBC Sports Boston. Be sure to check out our exclusive content around Smart throughout the day, both online and on the broadcast of Spurs-Celtics.
The sight of the man in the blue Versace robe, with its resplendent gold wrap belt, drew double takes from the workers inside the Spectrum Center.
On this November morning, everyone’s eyes are supposed to be on Kemba Walker as he prepares for his first game back in Charlotte since signing with the Boston Celtics, but teammate Marcus Smart leaves everyone fumbling for their camera phones with his choice of entrance attire at the team’s shootaround.
Less affected are Smart's teammates, who have become accustomed to seeing the guard in robes during many team activities. Film sessions, flights, treatment sessions — a robe has become Smart’s go-to garment.
"He wears a robe every day. He’s nuts, man,” Walker said with a laugh. "That’s my guy. I love being around him. He’s got great energy, man. The robe, that’s him. That’s him right there.”
Echoes Jaylen Brown: "That’s his swag. Marcus wearing his robe. That’s his swag and it used to be like, ‘Man, what is this dude doing?’ Now it’s like a thing now. I can’t be mad at him. He’s being an individual and just being Marcus.”
Truth be told, Smart wasn’t always a robe guy. But the warmth and simplicity of the robe soon won him over.
“That’s what’s crazy — I didn't start really messing with robes until my first year in the NBA. Then I just kinda liked it,” said Smart. "It’s comfy, it’s easy to put on. You're trying to look for stuff in your closet, you’re like, ‘You know what, just throw a robe on, some sweatpants, and you’re ready to go.’”
Now Smart owns at least seven robes including four Versace, one with Celtics insignia that he wore to the team’s Media Day, and two more that PUMA has crafted for him after the sneaker company learned of his affinity for robes since he signed with them this summer.
How does Smart choose which robe to wear? At home it can be a tougher choice, but he made the decision early that the blue-and-gold robe — which you can get on Versace’s website for $595 if you want to see what the fuss is about — would be the around-the-town robe. His girlfriend bought him a new Versace robe for Christmas and Smart beamed this week while noting he’ll soon debut it in public.
"It’s just a feel [at home],” said Smart. “But I have robes for just at the house, where I don’t wear them out at all. Then I have a robe like the one in Charlotte that I wear whenever I want to wear it out — practice, to the gym, just wear it all the time.”
The blue robe is all-weather, too. It made the trek on Boston’s west coast road trip early in the year and Smart wore it in both Phoenix and Los Angeles. After one offday practice, rookie Grant Williams fetched the robe and bowed to one knee while presenting it to Smart.
"He’s the most relaxed guy in the world,” said Williams. "He’s a guy that would be comfortable no matter what he’s wearing. He also has some style in him, when it comes to outfits in general. He has a lot he can pull out, but most of the time he’s relaxed, ready to come in and do his job, then walk out.”
Smart said teammates have started asking him about securing their own robes. He figures he’s going to have to hook them up down the road. But he started with a more manageable goal and had robes crafted for the team’s training staff, who expressed a particular fondness for the robes whenever Smart wore one to his treatment sessions.
Smart said he and the training staff are brainstorming when they will unveil the robes together but, again, you can hear the excitement in his voice about crafting a robe gang.
"I’ve got some of my family members some robes. [I've got] some PUMA robes for the training staff here. It’s kinda like our thing,” said Smart. "They always see me in a robe so they’re always like, ‘Where’s mine?’ I’m going to get the whole training staff some robes so we can all be together.”
Evan Turner recently suggested he started the robe trend in Boston — something Smart doesn’t dispute — but Smart has made the robe his thing ever since. Some current teammates, however, are not ready to embrace the trend.
“I’m good,” said Walker. “That’s all him. That’s all him.”
Said Brown: "I’ll take one if he wants to give me one,” said Brown. "He’s probably not going to want to give me one. Knowing Marcus, he’s going to say, ‘Naw, dog.’ But I’ll take one if he wants to give me one.”
Don't miss Marcus Smart Day and NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Spurs, which tips off Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike and Scal have the call at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.