Kyrie Irving and Al Horford may be on their way out of Boston, but Marcus Smart won’t hold that against them. Even with rumors circulating about Irving’s displeasure last season, Smart has been in communication with the star guard to check in on his well-being. None of the things they’ve discussed have pertained to basketball.
Though that’s not to say the recent developments haven’t caught Smart off-guard. Change was expected. After last season’s disappointment, how could it not be? But Smart didn’t have an idea of exactly how different things could look in 2019-20.
“I expected things to change,” Smart said while taking a quick break from his basketball camp at Brandeis University. “I wasn’t expecting as big or as little. I just knew something was going to change. I think everybody kind of knew that. Now, what that is, we have no clue. Like I said, you can’t really focus on that. You got to let the guys whose job it is to focus on that.”
Throughout the course of rumors being thrown around, the topic of Boston not being a destination within the NBA has popped up again. Smart doesn’t understand that idea.
Because when it comes to the city’s sports teams, Boston fans place a premium on one thing above all else: winning. And that happens to be the same thing that drives Smart.
“I mean, I think it kind of speaks for itself. You got the Patriots, you got the Bruins, you got the Red Sox and you got the Celtics,” he said. “Now you name me another city who got four teams in different categories like that, with all known for winning championships. It gets no better than that. So I don’t know who’s saying that or why you (are) saying that, who knows. But, for me, and being here and experiencing it for myself, Boston is definitely a place you want to be. Especially if you (are) trying to play for a championship.”
Additionally, the Celtics are now being portrayed as a non-factor in the league with Irving gone and Horford at least following him out of town, though maybe not all the way to Brooklyn. Acquiring Kemba Walker could change the way the team is perceived — which is the latest rumor and would be an excellent add by Boston. But as of Tuesday, the Celtics core is Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and Smart.
Although it’s a huge drop from where the Celtics were the last two seasons, being underdogs isn’t new territory for Smart. That’s exactly what the Isaiah Thomas-led teams were. So between that and still holding on to the disappointment and frustrations from last year, the longest tenured Celtic is looking forward to getting back to work.
“We’re excited. As competitors, you have a season like we did last year it leaves a funny taste in your mouth,” Smart said. “We’ll use that as our motivation and keep going. So, we’re very excited. Whatever team or whatever people or whoever is on the court, whoever is on this roster with us, we’re excited to have them and we’re going to go out there and fight.”
Full article @ Marcus Smart praises Boston while addressing potential departure of Celtics teammates
Source: GreenStreet Blog