BOSTON (CBS) — Thursday night was a fairly solid evening for the Boston Celtics. Kemba Walker was welcomed back to Charlotte with an outpouring of love and adoration, Gordon Hayward played like a superstar, and the Celtics rolled to a 108-87 win to improve to 6-1 on the season. It was all good … for the most part.
One player who didn’t have the most enjoyable evening was Marcus Smart. The always-feisty guard was assessed five fouls in his 22 minutes on the court, at one point stepping toward Miles Bridges after the Charlotte forward had shoved Smart to the ground. Smart was separated from Bridges but had a lot to say to referee Leon Wood. Smart likewise had some words for head coach Brad Stevens when he was taken out of the game.
After the win, Smart shared what both of those conversations entailed.
“I just was telling [Stevens], you know, especially when everything is going that way, like, they’re just picking and picking, and it’s like they’re eyeing on me and it’s like they are doing it on purpose,” Smart said, per ESPN.com. “So I’m telling them like, ‘At some point you have to step in and say something as a coach. But since you won’t, I’ve got to.’ And I understand from Brad’s standpoint, but at the same time, as a player’s standpoint, you’ve gotta step in.”
For his part, Stevens said that he loves Smart’s fire and competitiveness, and Smart also said that he has no lingering issue with the head coach. Smart’s issues with referees, however, does not seem to be close to reaching a resolution.
Miles Bridges doesn’t want that smoke. Marcus Smart a real one. pic.twitter.com/lQFu9Jgmb5
— Culler Sports 🦃 (@CullerSports) November 8, 2019
As for the minor altercation with Bridges, Smart said he felt the referees were imposing a different standard.
“They definitely treat me differently,” Smart said of the refs.
Smart added: “Really, just, I wish they would call the game the right way. A lot of calls that they called, I didn’t understand where the fouls were. And it just seems like whenever I get the ball and I’m on offense, I can’t get a call, so with the Bridges push and stuff like that, I told them, ‘If it was me, y’all would probably throw me out the game and everything. So you clean it up, or I will.'”
Smart recognized that such commentary will almost certainly bring a fine.
“Nobody else is going to protect yourself. You’ve got to protect yourself,” he siad. “So if that means I’ve got to lose a little bit of money, then I’ve got to lose a bit.”