BOSTON - Last Thursday, the Boston Celtics traveled on the road to face off against the Charlotte Hornets. As the evening started out, it proved to be a heartwarming reunion for a number of players who switched teams during the off-season. It served as Kemba Walker’s homecoming as the Celtic was greeted by the Charlotte crowd with a standing ovation. The Hornets ended up swapping out Walker for former Celtics guard Terry Rozier and it was nice to see Rozier hang out with his old teammates again.
However, the game quickly became a competitive one for Celtics guard Marcus Smart who got so fired up over a string of fouls called against him that he began to yell at the officiating crew for the game, as shared by WEEI.
Still fed up after the game, even though the Celtics came away with a 108-87 victory, Smart took his feelings public when he told reporters, "I wish they would call the game the right way...I didn't understand where the fouls were...Nobody else is going to protect yourself. You've got to protect yourself. So if that means I've got to lose a little bit of money, then I've got to lose a bit."
And lose money he did. For his comments, the NBA fined Smart fifteen thousand dollars, which certainly seems excessive. Granted, the refs are never going to be perfect. But why do they never have to face repercussions if they make the wrong call?
In addition to criticizing the referees of the game, Smart also got so fired that up he began to yell at Brad Stevens, Boston’s head coach. In a statement shared by Jared Weiss of The Athletic, Stevens said, “This is the part about Marcus that I love. His fire, his competitiveness. If there’s a moment where he’s upset with us, that’s all part of it. We’ve been together a long time. I’ve been yelled at before and that’s okay. I love him and I trust him.”
It is good that Stevens saw Smart’s actions as coming from the competitiveness of the game, rather than a place of contempt. However, I also think Smart could afford to reign things in a little bit, just to make sure his fiery spirit does not end up becoming a detriment to himself or to the team.
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