BOSTON (CBS) — With the sixth pick in the NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics added guard Marcus Smart.
“This is great. Boston is a great organization,” Smart said Thursday night shortly after being drafted. “It’s a great feeling to play for a wonderful organization.”
Smart is a versatile guard who can play the point or the two, and gives the Celtics some roster flexibility in regards to Rajon Rondo (a free agent next summer) and Avery Bradley (a restricted free agent this summer).
Here are five things you need to know about one of the newest members of the Boston Celtics:
Smart was born on March 6, 1994 in Flower Mound, Texas. The 6-4, 227-pound guard played two seasons for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, averaging 16.6 points on 41.3 percent shooting to go with 5.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.9 steals over 64 career collegiate games.
He Attacks The Hoop
While his shooting from the floor could use some improvement, Smart is not afraid to attack the basket. He’s more than willing to uses his body and size to make his way to the hoop and draw contact, and attempted 8.1 free throws per game for the Cowboys last season.
A Family Man
Smart says his competitive nature comes from being the youngest of four brothers. He plays in honor of his brother, Todd Westbrook, who died at the age of 33 in 2004 after a long battle with cancer.
“My brother meant the world to me,” he told WBZ-TV. “This moment right here, it almost brings me to tears that he is watching over me, guiding me through my basketball career.”
Smart said he got his first tattoo in honor of Todd, which has “Rest in Peace” with a basketball and Todd’s name. On Thursday, Smart had “RIP Todd No. 3” inscribed inside his suit.
Smart wore No. 3 throughout his early playing career because all of his brothers wore it. It was retired when he got to OK State, so he went with No. 33 in honor of Todd.
Of course with the Celtics, he’ll have to pick a new number: No. 3 is retired for Dennis Johnson and No. 33 is retired for Larry Bird.
Incident Is In The Past
Smart was suspended three games last season for shoving a fan at an Oklahoma State-Texas Tech game in February. Smart went into the stands on a block attempt, and says the fan, Jeff Orr of Waco, Texas, used a racial slur towards him. Smart then shoved Orr and was assessed a technical foul, but not ejected.
Smart talked about the incident with WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton after being drafted, and says he had no excuse for his actions.
“Right before the game, my mom was supposed to be at the game and it was the one game she couldn’t (be at) because she was rushed to the hospital. That was right before tip-off. But that’s not an excuse. I was wrong and I learned from it,” he explained.
Is Willing To Play With Rondo
Two point guards? Not a problem if you ask the newest Celtic.
“I think Rajon Rondo is one of the premiere guards in this league. His hands are humongous, his wingspan is ridiculous and he has a high basketball IQ. I can see myself playing alongside him,” Smart told WBZ-TV.
“Rondo was actually one of the guards that I liked watching,” said Smart. “He reminds me of me. He’s very versatile. He can affect the game in many ways.”
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens doesn’t think it will be an issue either.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt they can play together,” the C’s head coach said Thursday night. “It’ll be great for Marcus to have a guy like Rondo to look up to a learn from. Not many guys get that opportunity, especially early on in the draft like this.”
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