BOSTON (CBS) — Marcus Smart has avoided a suspension for going after Cleveland guard J.R. Smith during an on-court altercation in the Celtics’ preseason loss to the Cavaliers over the weekend.
But he’s a little lighter in the wallet thanks to Saturday night’s fracas. Smart has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for his role in the altercation, the league announced on Monday.
Smith, who got the party started by shoving Celtics center Aron Baynes, was hit with a $15,000 fine.
If you’re wondering by Smart’s fine is bigger than Smith’s, the league explained it as Smart “escalating” the situation Saturday night, which he certainly did. After Baynes and Smith began shoving each other after getting tangled up under the basket, Smart came out of nowhere and shoved Smith from behind. He then squared up ready to throw down with Smith, though no punches were ever thrown (do fists ever actually fly in the NBA anyways?). Smart can thank Jayson Tatum for that one, as the C’s forward grabbed Smart before he could throw a punch.
Smart went after Smith, who was being held back by his Cleveland teammates, squaring up like he was ready to throw down with Smith. No punches were ever thrown though (do fists ever actually fly in the NBA anyways?), and Smart can thank Jayson Tatum for that one, as the C’s forward grabbed Smart before he could throw a punch.
Smart was eventually pulled away by Tatum and Terry Rozier, as all three ended up on the court. The Celtics guard was ejected for his role in the matter and he even challenged Smith to keep things going in the locker room, which Smith responded to via Twitter after Saturday night’s preseason game.
“I did what I had to do. Just like if it was me, my teammates would do the same thing,” Smart explained after Boston’s preseason loss.
This isn’t the first time there has been bad blood between the Celtics and Smith, and it isn’t the first time Smart has been the one to show his displeasure. The two got into it four months ago during last year’s playoffs when Smith undercut Al Horford late in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. Smith also drew the ire of the C’s three years ago when he hit Jae Crowder in the face while going for a rebound, giving the Celtics forward a concussion. Crowder also sprained his MCL when he hit the floor after that contact.
Chances are, a fine from the league isn’t going to cool down the Smart-Smith beef. LeBron James may no longer be on the Cavs, but the hatred remains between the two Eastern Conference foes.