BOSTON (CBS) – Newly-drafted Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Andy Gresh and Dave Goucher Monday afternoon for an introductory interview that covered all the bases.
Smart (no. 6 overall) and fellow draftee James Young (no. 17 overall) were introduced to the media on Monday, and the Oklahoma State product touched on that to start the conversation.
“This is an exciting day for me. I’m ecstatic to come in and get to meet some of the guys I’ll be playing summer league with, meet the coaching staff and everybody here and just get familiarized with everybody.”
Smart hasn’t been in Boston long, but already he’s been issued a memo from team president Danny Ainge.
“[Danny] says just to play my game and to be the person I am and keep working and become the player they said they know I can be, and that I expect to be myself.”
Gresh was curious to know how Smart can improve his game at the professional level.
Smart, who will wear No. 36 for the Celtics, responded simply,”I just need to keep working hard. At the end of the day all the hard work it adds up. Just keep putting in the work in the gym and the results will prove themselves when the lights come on and it’s time to perform.”
If you asked the average basketball fan who Marcus Smart was they’d probably respond, “That guy who pushed the Texas Tech fan.” In the closing seconds of Oklahoma State’s loss to the Red Raiders, Smart shoved a fan and became a college basketball pariah.
Boston fans will come to know Marcus Smart over the next several years, so the 20-year-old revealed himself and told us what to expect.
“I’m very outgoing. I’m a people person. I love to have fun, be happy and put a smile on people’s faces. That’s just how I was raised. On the court I might be a little different than what I am walking down the street. I might look a little bit meaner on the court than I am off the court. I’m a competitor on the court. I have a job to do on the court, but off the court I’m the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.”
Smart played just two seasons in college and while it was an emotional decision to leave his teammates behind in Stillwater, Smart is excited to be able to move on to the next chapter of his life beginning right now in Boston.
On getting drafted by the C’s, Smart said it caught him off guard and that Joel Embiid’s injury “mixed up the whole draft.”
Smart thinks the Boston fans will take to him just fine.
“The fans are going to embrace me. They love their sport, especially if a guy that’s coming in willing to work and just compete no matter what the results are.”
Smart, a 6-foot-4 225-pound guard that can play both the 1 and 2, says he likes to watch the bigger guards like James Harden and Derrick Rose play, but he doesn’t model his game after one specific person.
When the Celtics made Smart their selection with the sixth overall pick, fans got the feeling that another move was coming: A Rajon Rondo trade.
And by the way, so does Marcus Smart.
“I think I’ll fit well [with Rondo]. I’m a team guy. Whatever I have to do to help the team is what I do. Rondo is an amazing point guard and a great person to learn from. He’s been here, he’s been through it and he’s playing one of the hardest positions in the NBA.”
Earlier in the day Gresh and Goucher chatted with Travis Ford, Smart’s college coach at Oklahoma State. Ford spoke glowingly about his former player, including his ability to shoot, dribble, play defense and both guard positions.