Marcus Smart, Celtics Discuss His Return to TD Garden: ‘Forever Be Etched into the City’

Sunday represents Marcus Smart’s return to the city and the franchise with which he shares an unbreakable bond.

Despite joining a franchise in the early stages of a rebuild after the departures of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen before that, Marcus Smart helped the Celtics go from a 25-57 campaign to reaching the playoffs. They did so in each of his nine years in Boston.

The C’s never had a season with a negative net rating in the former Oklahoma State Cowboy’s tenure there, meaning every year of his career, they outscored their opponent with him on the court.

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Smart, the heart and soul of the team, also took tremendous pride in being its longest-tenured active player, conveying to Inside The Celtics during a wide-ranging interview, “My teammates feed off my energy. As the longest-tenured Celtic, I feel like it’s my responsibility to continue to play ‘Celtics basketball.'”

But with Boston wanting to improve a crunch-time offense that’s plagued it in recent postseasons, see Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown take even more ownership of the team and become more dynamic offensively, they parted with the Flower Mound, Texas native to acquire Kristaps Porzingis.

Among the seven-foot-three center’s many gifts at both ends of the floor, his ability to punish switches is an option that wasn’t on the Celtics’ menu before he arrived.

And while Smart stated he got told he was safe a week before the trade sending him to the Memphis Grizzlies, he understands this is a business and maintains, “I love this team. I love this organization. I love the people, the fans, and everybody, the support I’ve always gotten here for my nine years. I’m definitely gonna miss it.”



Gideon Canice

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