Avery Bradley, Wyc Grousbeck and Marcus Smart last night at Avery Bar. (Photos by Brian Babineau / Boston Celtics)
Celtics rookie Marcus Smart has made a quick impact on and off the court since he was drafted with the sixth pick in this year’s NBA Draft. Off the court, he made headlines when he bought his mother a house in his hometown in Dallas, adding another chapter to his stirring family story. And on the court, he’s a hard-nosed defender, providing an on-ball pressure that’s reminiscent of Avery Bradley—only with some added physicality. Last night, Smart donned one of his famous bow ties for a party at the Ritz Carlton’s Avery Bar to introduce the latest version of the Celtics’ alternate uniforms.
While the on-court threads have gotten mixed reaction on the Internet, they do provide one unique feature. There’s a new touch on the gold star that was added this season on the back collar of all uniforms for NBA-title winning franchises. It’s got the No. 17 on it, signifying all the titles the Celtics’ franchises have won. While it’d look silly to give the Celtics 17 stars, this is a nice feature, helping set apart the most successful NBA franchise from franchises such as Dallas or Portland that have only won one title. The current gold star hints at no difference between any of the title franchises. Let’s hope this feature gets picked up league-wide.
Smart took some time during the evening for an exclusive chat with The Improper to touch on his salad days in the NBA.
Matt Martinelli: So your first couple paychecks obviously went to the grand gesture of buying your mom a house. What’s the next one going to go to?
Marcus Smart: That’s a good question. I’d have to say to probably buying a new car. I need a car so I can get around here a little easier. I’ve been Ubering a lot.
Great. Do you have your eyes on any car in particular?
Not really. Not yet. Hopefully something will catch my eye when the time comes.
What’s been the most unexpected thing about NBA road life?
The most unexpected is that the difference between college and NBA life is not that much different. And that’s been the most unexpected thing about it. You do have a lot more responsibilities, but it’s still the same game. Nothing’s changed. It’s just the players are a little bit bigger and older.
Do you find anything different on the road?
The travel is a little longer than what it was in college. You’re going more from city to city, which is a big toll on you. When you’re in college, you don’t really travel as much, and you usually have more days off.
What was going through your mind when you saw all your friends and family at your homecoming game in Dallas?
I was happy to see everyone. It was crazy how many people showed up.
How many people did you have show up?
Just from my family, about 35 people. From friends and everyone else, it was a lot more. I couldn’t count how many.
Is there going to be another big homecoming when you go to Oklahoma?
I actually don’t know about that. I have no clue how many people will show up at that game, but I guess it will be. I can’t tell at this point.
How often are you still able to talk to your mom?
I talk to my mom every day. She calls me at least twice a day. Before I go to bed and when I wake up. I gotta talk to my mom every day. I feel out of place if I don’t.
So you’ve been doing that for awhile?
Yup—even in college.