Boston Celtics’ Former Captain, Marcus Smart, to Miss Game Against Former Team Due to Injury
The highly anticipated match between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Boston Celtics on Sunday will be missing an expected player – Marcus Smart. The former captain of the Celtics will not be able to face his former team due to a sprained ankle. This news has left both fans and players disappointed as they were looking forward to seeing Smart on the court for this highly anticipated game.
The Grizzlies will host the Eastern Conference powerhouse with a badly undermanned roster, adding to the challenge of the game for both teams. For Smart, this was a game he had been eagerly waiting for after being sent to Memphis by the Celtics in a three-team deal. However, due to his injury, he will have to wait for another opportunity to go up against some of his closest friends and former teammates.
Marcus Smart shared his disappointment during an interview with NBC Sports’ Abby Chin about his injury and the impact of not being able to play against his former team:
“We’ve been struggling. We got a great win last night. To come back and play a team like Boston and not be a part of it is definitely devastating.”
This statement reflects the emotional toll of being sidelined for such a crucial game, especially considering the personal significance of the matchup for Smart.
Smart’s journey with the Boston Celtics began in 2014 when he was drafted by the team. Over the years, he established himself as a key player and eventually became the team’s captain after the departure of Kyrie Irving in the summer of 2019. Smart was instrumental in leading the team through their ups and downs and became an integral part of the Celtics’ roster.
Smart was with the Celtics during their struggles after the glory years of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, and also witnessed the transition of leadership from Rajon Rondo to the emergence of the Jaylen Brown-Jayson Tatum era. He outlasted several star players and ultimately became the Celtics’ point guard after Kemba Walker was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2021 to bring back Al Horford. His longevity and contributions to the team were expected to solidify his place in the Celtics’ lineup for years to come.
However, despite his dedication and loyalty to the team, Smart found himself on the trading block. The decision to trade Smart came as a shock to both him and fans of the Celtics. The trade, which saw Marcus Smart moving to Memphis, was a difficult moment for both the player and the team. Smart’s emotional reaction to the trade was evident as he reportedly couldn’t hold back his tears when he found out about the trade. To make matters worse, he found out about it not from the team’s front office, but from Twitter.
In a candid interview with “The Athletic”, Smart expressed his feelings about the trade and the way it transpired:
“If I’m being quite frank, I knew I would be traded eventually. Just figured it would be the next season, just based off my contract and with the new CBA. We already knew that. But it was just the way it happened. I was told everything was good after asking multiple times. Like, ‘I’m hearing [rumors], what’s going on?’ And they’re like, ‘No, you’re good, you’re good, you’re good.’ And then when I do hear about the trade, it’s from Shams [Charania] on Twitter before I hear from the team.”
The emotional turmoil and uncertainty that Smart experienced during the trade process sheds light on the personal and often tumultuous side of professional sports.
On Sunday night, as the Grizzlies host the Celtics, Smart will meet some of his closest friends who also attended his wedding in the offseason. However, he will not be able to play against them due to his injury. The disappointment of missing out on the opportunity to face his former team will be felt by Smart and Celtics fans alike. His next chance to play against his former team will be on February 5 at the TD Garden, providing hope for a future reunion on the court.
The absence of Marcus Smart from the upcoming game underscores the emotional and personal connection that athletes have with their teams and former teammates. While injuries and trades are a natural part of the sports industry, the impact on players’ lives and relationships is a reminder of the human side of professional athletics.
As the game approaches, fans and players alike will eagerly await the opportunity for Smart to reunite with his former team. The emotional and competitive dynamics of a potential showdown between Smart and the Celtics will continue to be a compelling storyline as the NBA season unfolds.
Marcus Smart’s journey with the Boston Celtics may have taken an unexpected turn, but his resilience and dedication continue to inspire both fans and players in the basketball community.