Smart: 'It's funny to see guys try to get me rattled'

Smart: 'It's funny to see guys try to get me rattled'
July 8, 2014, 11:45 am
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(AP Images)

Nobody would have blamed Marcus Smart for showing frustration during or after Monday's Orlando Summer League loss to the Pacers.

After all, the Celtics first-round pick shot just 3-for-15 from the floor, including 1-for-5 from 3-point range, and the team blew a 30-14 first-quarter lead in an eventual 96-77 loss.

But no, he didn't get angry out there. He didn't flip out on anybody, or kick a ball, or do anything that you may wrongfully assume he's about.

Smart is not a mental midget. But one reason you know his name is due to the incident he had against Texas Tech last season when he pushed a fan in the stands. The Oklahoma State Cowboys were about to lose their fourth straight game, and according, to one report, Smart told coaches the fan called him a racial slur, leading to the shove. He served his punishment - a three-game suspension.

Yes, Smart is emotional - but not in the way that it becomes a detriment to his game. In fact, his competitiveness is part of what makes him special. That was an exception to the rule.

"The one incident back there at Oklahoma State, that was just something that happened," Smart said. "Everybody is going to have a high emotional breakdown, and that was my one."

So if he's having a rough game, don't expect to see a frustrated Smart. If anything, that incident helped him reel it in.

"You just really know who you are," Smart said. "You don't really think about [struggling] and let that phase you. You just keep your mind in a place where you know you're comfortable."

But people don't forget. The Texas Tech incident will be attached to Smart for a while, and opposing players are going to do everything in their power to get under his skin, take him off his game, or even try to get him to do something he'll regret.

According to Smart, that'll be a waste of time - but he won't be surprised to see them poke at him.

"Definitely. I expect that," Smart said. "Everybody saw [the incident at Texas Tech], so that's the scouting report: he has a hot temper. It's funny to see guys try to get me rattled because I really don't. It's just something that happened. But I expect it to keep happening in the near future. I'm well prepared for it, I've been learning, and I learn from my mistakes."

Of course, the more comfortable Smart gets on the court - and the more the ball goes in the basket - the less he'll be hearing from anybody on the other side.