Ahead of the Celtics‘ first game against their former star Marcus Smart on Sunday brought up a lot of mixed emotion for both players and fans. Not only was he a core piece of Boston’s success in recent years, his trade split up the powerful trio which also included Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
During this weekend’s pregame interview, Brown was asked what he felt about facing his former teammate now as his opponent from Memphis. The 27-year-old took the opportunity to reminisce about his relationship with Marcus, who he recognized he couldn’t stand back when they first met.
“I couldn’t stand Marcus at first… and I love him now… you grow and mature as young men and you learn things about people … But me and Marcus, we didn’t start off great. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Marcus when I first got to Boston,” Brown said before Sunday’s clash.
Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum reunited before Grizzlies vs. Celtics game 🙌
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 20, 2023
The Celtics guard then explained why his initial assessment on Smart was off early in his career in Massachusetts. “A plethora of reasons. You name it. But over time I realized that me and Marcus have similar spirits. And if I was going to war with anybody, Marcus would be one of my first phone calls,” he recalled.
Unfortunately for the veteran guard, he was not able to participate in the highly-expected matchup against his former team due to a left foot sprain that will have him sidelined for at least a month.
“One hundred percent. It sure is,” Smart confirmed his absence before the game. “Especially, you know, we’ve been struggling and we got a great win last night. And to come back and play a team like Boston, not to be a part of it is definitely devastating.”
Marcus admitted that his trade out of Boston took him by surprise, but the former Defensive Player of the Year got his much-needed closure with his former teammates during his own wedding back in September.
“It was great. Everybody came out, everybody had a great time,” Smart shared. “It was great to see everybody. We reminisced, we said our goodbyes, and yeah, it was great. It was great to see everybody.”
Jaylen Brown recently ripped into Toronto’s In-Season Tournament court this weekend and called it ‘unacceptable’
In Boston’s recent nail-bitting win against the Raptors, Brown slipped on the court several times and strained his groin due to the conditions given. After the game he criticized the league for not protecting the players.
“I think as players we’re all here for the In-Season Tournament because it’s going to generate revenue, excitement, competition, but we’ve got to make sure the floor is safe to play on,” Jaylen shared. “We can’t put our players out there and risk their health.”
Toronto’s Precious Achiuwa couldn’t help but agree with the Celtics star as he was also seen slipping during the contest.
“It was slippery,” the forward admitted. “I fell myself a few times. A couple of times I ended up on the floor. I slipped a few times. I’m extra cautious. Ending up on the floor is kind of like, OK, I’m checking myself. I’m trying to make sure everything is intact. At the end of the day, I just want to hoop.”