What did Celtics’ Marcus Smart have to say about Warriors’ Draymond Green punching Jordan Poole?
Interestingly enough, the Celtics star acknowledged that fights do happen among teammates in practice, but that doesn’t mean a line wasn’t crossed.
No stranger to controversy himself, the Celtics star is just as gritty as Green is and perhaps even more aggressive in defense, which is why his criticism rings a little louder.
Marcus Smart takes issue with Draymond Green’s punch
If there’s one thing you can say about the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, it’s that he definitely knows a thing or two about losing his temper on court. Indeed, there have been several altercations in which Marcus Smart has been involved in over the years and some of them - as with Draymond Green - have even involved fellow teammates. This after all, is a guy who made headlines across the country back in his college days, after he shoved a fan following a verbal fight. That’s all to say, that Smart understands clearly what is and is not acceptable behavior
This, of course brings us to Golden State Warriors veteran Draymond Green who has now taken a leave of absence from the team, after video of him punching teammate Jordan Poole in the face during practice surfaced last week. Asked for his thoughts on the Green-Poole fight and Smart readily acknowledged, that conflicts can and do turn physical on occasion between teammates. On the other hand, he made it clear that Green was wrong for not maintaining his calm. “I know Draymond, as good as he is as a player and as a person, he made a mistake,” Smart said following the Celtics’ practice on Sunday. “I think we can all say that from what we know. As a leader, you can’t do that, especially when guys are looking up to you and looking to you for advice and encouragement. ... [Don’t] go that route, but definitely keep that fire and stay on them. But he’s got to know when to cool off and when to back it down.”
* you can see Smart’s comments on Draymond Green specifically at minute 3:45 in the video above *
Is Marcus Smart one to talk?
Let’s be honest, there are probably quite a few fans out there and possibly even Green himself who are raising their eyebrows when reading Smart’s ‘advice.’ Is this really the same guy who called out both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown early last season for allegedly not passing ball enough? Surely that’s not the same Marcus Smart? At any rate, it doesn’t discount the point he makes, which is that there are a whole host of options that Green could have chosen aside from the violent one that he did.
Interestingly, Smart also went on to address the reason for the fight itself, admitting that while he had no idea as to what cause the altercation, it’s definitely something that should have been handled in house before it escalated to the point that it did. “When you come in here in this gym and you step in between these lines, you’re family, and everything else goes out the window until you step off this court,” Smart said. “That’s how it should be, and I think that’s how you handle it.” As for the Warriors themselves, it would be inaccurate to say they don’t have a good chance of repeating as champions, but it will definitely require that they come together as quickly as possible. The Celtics on the other hand, are currently dealing with their own controversy after the banning of head coach Ime Udoka.