In a TV-appearance on ESPN's The Jump, Celtics shooting guard Marcus Smart wasn't shy about addressing last year's shortcomings and locker room dysfunction.
Notably, Smart called the now-departed Kyrie Irving a "great teammate" and a generally "misunderstood" person. Smart shared an anecdote about how Irving was one of the first to text Smart after the passing of his mother, and the two would often have deep talks.
"It wasn't even about basketball," Smart said.
Though Smart said last year's struggles can't be pinned on just one person, he did admit that the locker room was "dysfunctional," per our own Chris Forsberg.
Marcus Smart on The Jump on 2018-19 Celtics dysfunction: “Let's call a spade a spade, right? It’s true. We were dysfunctional. … We all took part in it."— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) July 29, 2019
Like many pundits have pointed out, many of the Celtics' issues started with players whose skill-sets didn't mesh perfectly. Too many players had to sacrifice shots or minutes for the good of the team, Smart said. Off the court, the players hung out and liked each other, Smart said.
On another note, Smart said that the players representing the USA in the upcoming FIBA games — like Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and possibly Jaylen Brown and himself — should get special preference for the 2020 Olympic team over others who backed out for FIBA.
Certainly, Weird Celtics Twitter would have a field day if Boston sent four players to Tokyo. Smart expressed admiration for the aforementioned cult-like group of Twitter users who recently created this fan art for "Smarf", per Forsberg.
Marcus Smart on Weird Celtics Twitter: “It’s exactly that: Weird. You see some of the darndest things on there. … But there’s some things that — it’s that pick up that you need. It might be a bad day and you look at it and start laughing."— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) July 29, 2019
Later in the show, Smart discussed his altercation with a fan at Oklahoma State, flopping, and his scuffle in the playoffs with Joel Embiid. Additionally, he nodded to Celtics fans who might feel underappreciated by the national media or fans of other teams writing Boston off.
“100 percent think they (are underestimating us). To be honest, that’s exactly how we like it."
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