As his teammates were trying to salvage their once-promising season during an overtime loss at Baylor on Monday night, Marcus Smart was chastising an Oklahoma State blog for being too negative about the struggling Cowboys.
"Yo dude," Smart tweeted. "Listen no one is forcing u to watch the game or watch us play. If [you're] a Osu cowboy, act like it. I'm tired of seeing your negativity towards the team and the coaches. [These] aren't shots fired or any disrespect. Just saying."
Pistols Firing, a popular Oklahoma State blog, has been critical of coach Travis Ford as a Cowboys team expected to challenge Kansas for the Big 12 title has instead plummeted from the top 10 in the polls to the fringes of the NCAA tournament picture. They have now dropped seven straight games, the last three of which have come while Smart is serving a three-game suspension for pushing a Texas Tech fan who mouthed off at him earlier this month.
Kyle Porter, who runs Pistols Firing, told Yahoo Sports he thought Smart's criticism of the site was fair.
"If I'm allowed to critique his basketball then he's sure allowed to critique my writing," Porter said. "I do think there needs to be an understanding of the difference between a fan and a blogger whose job it is to write humorously and interestingly about a team (or any entity) but if I don't even understand it all the time, I sure don't expect a college kid to."
It's understandable Smart would want to stand up for his teammates and coaches when he believes the criticism they've received is unjust, but the timing of his tweets wasn't all that wise.
Why send those tweets during the first half of a critical game for your team? And why risk further negative publicity when you're barely a week removed from publicly apologizing for losing your cool in the middle of a game and going into the stands to confront a fan who taunted you?
Coming into his sophomore season, Smart was known as a highly competitive kid whose character and leadership skills were as attractive to NBA scouts as his ability to get to the rim or defend multiple positions.
Kicking a chair at West Virginia and shoving a fan at Texas Tech suggested the pain of a disappointing season was eating at Smart. These tweets aren't that big of a deal, but they do provide another window into Smart's frustration.