Marcus Smart explains how Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown set example for Celtics
Smart explains how Tatum, Brown set example for Celtics originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Through the first few years of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown's NBA careers, Marcus Smart has been the one constant.
Smart is the only Boston Celtics player who has been teammates with the Jays from the beginning. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year has had a front-row seat to watch both Tatum and Brown develop from promising prospects into two of the game's best players. The group has had its ups and downs, but it has established a close bond that has helped Boston become a perennial NBA title contender.
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This year is no different. After reaching the 2022 NBA Finals, the Celtics are focused on finishing the job in 2023. They're currently 48-22 on the season and among the favorites to win it all this summer.
During a Showtime basketball interview that also featured Paul Pierce and the Jays, Kevin Garnett asked Smart if he feels like this is a "special group."
"By far," Smart answered. "I've been here nine years, so I've seen people come in and leave and then come back, or not come back and then say, 'I wish I would've come back' because of how special the team is. We've got a lot of great players. These two here, top of the charts for us, right? But at the same time, with them two being at the top, their egos don't surpass that. It's not bigger than the team. They've got all the individual accolades coming their way and they still find ways to make sure that everybody on the team is getting better. And they're aware that without us, they wouldn't be who they are."
Tatum and Brown are elite talents, but their biggest impact might be made off the court. Smart raved about the star duo's ability to lead by example and put their egos aside.
"When you've got guys in their position that does that, it kind of forces everybody to follow, and that makes a team special," he said. "When they're able to be coachable, when they're able to take criticism, when they're able to understand and look themselves in the mirror and go, 'You know what? I f---d up.' It's kind of hard for the 15th, the 13th, the 10th man to say, 'I ain't do nothing wrong.' Bulls---. You've got the top two m-----f---ers admitting that they did something wrong.
"So if they're not perfect, nobody's going to be perfect. That's what makes this team, because we know we can look to those two and we can lean on their shoulders in times of need but at the same time when times are high. We understand that they're going to show love to everybody."
It's clear Smart, Tatum, and Brown have helped to build a strong culture in Boston. The next step is bringing the elusive Banner 18 to TD Garden.
You can watch the full Showtime interview below: