Since 2016, the NBA has found a way to award one player throughout the league for his extra effort on the floor with the appropriately named NBA Hustle Award. Somehow, Monday marked the first time the honor has been bestowed upon Celtics guard Marcus Smart.
For a player who’s about winning above all else, being overlooked for the award isn’t going to bother Smart — much like he’s not getting hung up on finally making the NBA All-Defensive First Team. It also helps that Smart wasn’t even aware the award existed until he received a text that he’d won it on Monday.
“My agent texted me and then all of a sudden my phone started blowing up from everybody else,” Smart said. “I’m like, ‘What are y’all talking about? What’s going on?’ They’re like, ‘You won some award.’ (I said,) ‘I know, I got first team,’ and they were like, ‘No, no no. This (is) a whole different award.’”
The idea of receiving a physical award for hustling does seem rather strange. As much as it’s hard to ignore a player diving on the floor or jumping into the stands, players who abuse their body like Smart don’t do it for recognition. They do it to win. Games, not awards.
Smart won’t dwell on the honor, though he doesn’t mind the idea of a little recognition for his grit.
“I throw my body around a lot and I know I don’t score 20 points, I know I don’t shoot the lights out or dribble like some guys in the league — I just do it the way I was taught to play,” he said. “I know those things and those attempts ain’t going to show up on the stat sheet, so for that award to be out and be an award is incredible.”
Full article @ Marcus Smart hadn’t heard of the NBA Hustle Award until he won it
Source: GreenStreet Blog