On this day: Marcus Smart, Michael Finley, Shaquille O’Neal born; Jayson Tatum hangs 54 points on the Nets

On this day in Boston Celtics history, veteran Celtics guard Marcus Osmond Smart was born in Flower Mound, Texas in 1994. The future Celtic defensive specialist would play his college ball with the Oklahoma State University Cowboys. There, he won Big 12 Player of the Year and NCAA Second Team All-American honors in 2013 and was named a National Association of Basketball Coaches Third Team All-American the following year.

He was taken sixth overall in the 2014 NBA draft and has played solely with the Celtics ever since. Smart garnered All-Rookie Second Team honors in 2015, and All-Defensive First Team honors in 2019, 2020, and 2022, earning Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2022 as well before being dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2023.

Happy birthday, Marcus!

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It is also the birthday of former Celtic Michael Finley, born today in Melrose Park, Illinois in 1973.

Drafted out of Wisconsin by the Phoenix Suns, Finley would play for that club, the Dallas Mavericks, and San Antonio Spurs before joining Boston in 2010, winning a title with the Spurs in 2007.

The former Badger would actually ink his deal with the Celtics on his birthday that year and would play just 21 games for the team, averaging 5.2 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.1 assists.

Shaquille O'Neal
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

It is also the birthday of former Celtic and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, born in Newark, New Jersey in 1972.

Shaq came to Boston late in his career, his final stop after four rings and 15 All-Star nods among countless other honors.

It was time for O’Neal to hang it up, however, as injuries kept him to just 37 appearances that saw him score a career-low 9.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, it was on this date in 2022 that star Celtics forward hung a career-high 54 points on Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and the Brooklyn Nets.

“Those matchups — when you’re playing one of the better teams in the league, two of the best guys — as a competitor, those are the kinds of moments that as a kid you looked forward to,” Tatum said via the AP.

“When those opportunities come, you try to make the most of it.”

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire