Warriors Star Steph Curry Breaks Silence on Marcus Smart Incident

Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics

Getty Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics

When the Boston Celtics defeated the Golden State Warriors on March 16, the team’s performance was overshadowed by a potentially serious injury to Stephen Curry.

Marcus Smart found himself at the center of an unwanted debate as fans and media alike begin to dissect his decision to dive for a loose ball, and questioned if he intentionally set out to hurt the superstar point guard.

For anyone that has consistently watched Smart play over the last few years, it’s clear that the incident in question was just another hustle play – the type he has built his career on. And any subsequent injury was an unfortunate byproduct of Marcus Smart doing Marcus Smart things.

Curry has finally weighed in on the debate and shared his thoughts on the possession that forced him onto the sidelines for the coming weeks, “He didn’t try to hurt me. There’s a certain way that he plays, and I don’t think there are many other people that would have made the play that he did, but I don’t think it was malicious or dirty or that he was trying to hurt me.

It’s just a tough situation, just the way that he plays, there’s a conversation around should he or shouldn’t he have (made the play) but it wasn’t like he looked at me and was like ‘I’m trying to hurt that dude,’ it’s basketball.”

Draymond Green Agrees With Stephen Curry

The Warriors have their own version of Smart in Draymond Green, a player who leads by example and thrives on hustle plays to energize his teammates. In fact, shortly before Smart dove for a loose ball and ultimately ended up injuring Curry, Green had made a similar play on the defensive end.

With so many similarities between the two, it makes sense to listen to Green’s point of view, especially since he’s widely considered to be the Warriors enforcer when things get chippy on the court.

“I would expect Marcus Smart to make that play, he plays hard. I can’t call that a dirty play, as unfortunate as it is. If it was a dirty play, I would have dove into his head. I had a pretty great look at the play, I was right up top. Maybe unnecessary, but that’s the most I can call it – unnecessary.

At every level of basketball, we’re taught to dive on the floor and go after the ball, and that’s what Marcus did. I will say that it was probably an unnecessary drive, because if you don’t go through him, then you don’t get the ball,” Draymond Green noted when asked about Smart’s level of physicality on the play that injured Curry.

When players are accustomed to diving for every loose ball and playing with a certain edge, it’s easy to misconstrue their behavior as reckless. But, it’s fair to assume that the usually outspoken Green would have called Smart out if he deemed the play to be unprofessional or overall dangerous.

Smart is Having His Best Ever Season

Putting the narrative that Smart set out to intentionally hurt another player aside, it’s fair to say that his first year as the Celtics lead point guard has been a resounding success. The Texas native has been far more judicial with his shot selection and has quickly grown into the pass-first point guard the Celtics sorely needed.

Smart is now capable of controlling the tempo of a game, initiating the offense, orchestrating fast-break opportunities, and has improved his all-around game while learning how to operate in his new position.

Furthermore, the veteran guard is now showing signs of an improved jump shot from the perimeter. Since the turn of the year, Smart is shooting an above-average 38.6% from three since January 1, per Basketball-Reference.

The 28-year-old’d growth as both a leading voice in the locker room and floor general on the court has been instrumental to the Celtics’ recent surge up the Eastern Conference standings. If Smart continues to play this way, his recent contract extension will end up looking like another steal for Brad Stevens, who is also looking like a genius after inking Robert Williams to a team-friendly deal this past off-season.

Smart and the Celtics are back in action on March 21, when they face off against the Oklahoma City Thunder on the second night of a back-to-back as the team looks to finish its latest West Coast road trip undefeated.


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