Smart on Team USA experience: 'Felt I belonged'

Smart on Team USA experience: 'Felt I belonged'
August 4, 2014, 4:45 pm
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(AP Images)

BOSTON — The past couple of months have been a non-stop whirlwind of events for Marcus Smart, from workouts leading up to the NBA draft to actually being drafted to participating on the Boston Celtics' summer league and most recently, being part of a select team that trained against Team USA's National squad in Las Vegas.

His next challenge?

Establishing roots in Boston.

"The only time I was in Boston was to get ready for summer league in Orlando, which was like four days," Smart, a former star at Oklahoma State, told television station KOCO of Oklahoma City. "And we had two-a-days. I really didn't get to enjoy Boston."

And while his first NBA game is still months away, he did get a taste of what to expect as part of playing against elite, all-star level guards on the Team USA roster.

"It was an amazing feeling," Smart said. "It kind of felt I belonged there. I enjoyed it, just being able to play against some of the premiere guards in the league; it was an amazing feeling for me."

Watching Smart with the Celtics and seeing the positive feedback from his time in Las Vegas, it's clear that he's more than ready to play from Day 1 for the Boston Celtics.

The only real question is whether he'll start or be one of the first players off the bench.

Of course the Celtics aren't trying to put any pressure on him to perform immediately, but there's no doubt that they have tremendous confidence in Smart as a potential contributor from the very outset of his NBA career.

And while Smart has been mindful that this is still Rajon Rondo's team, he's confident enough in himself to realize and embrace the reality that his day as a leader on this team might come sooner rather than later.