Marcus Smart

The Players TribuneにMarcus Smartの手記?が出てたんだけど、KGとのエピソードが良いな。

It was December of 2014 — we were playing the Nets at the Garden. It was the third quarter and I was guarding Jarrett Jack at the top of the key. KG came to set a pick on me … and then I saw that the ball had popped out of Jarrett’s hands.

A loose ball. The sweetest sight there ever was.

I just went off instinct and jumped on it. I grabbed the ball, but out of the corner of my eye I saw KG — it looked like he was going to land on me, so I just tossed the ball down the court and we ended up getting an easy bucket. KG almost fell right on top of me. The whistle blew. We were still both down on the court, trying not to get tangled up. My first thought was how lucky I was KG didn’t really dive on me.

Then KG gave me a little tap — just real quick, on the chest — and told me I made a good play.

Just that one little compliment from KG meant so much. I haven’t talked to KG about that play since then, but I still think about it. At that time in my rookie year, it was the dose of confidence I needed to keep playing my style of basketball — not to go crazy trying to score a ton of points, but to play my game. And coming from a guy who wore the Celtics uniform … a guy who won a ring for Boston … a guy always embodied that hustle mentality … it wasn’t a small thing for me.

I wonder if he even remembers that play.