Marcus Smart on relationship with Celtics fans: ‘They watched me become a man’

Marcus Smart spent his first nine seasons as a pro as a member of the Boston Celtics organization before being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies this past offseason. Sunday afternoon saw Smart make his first trip to Boston as an opponent.

Smart is dealing with a finger injury, and did not suit up for the game. Still, the Flower Mound native addressed the media in a special press conference beforehand. He spoke about his relationship with the city and what his experiences in Celtic green mean to him. Smart explained how his time in the Hub shaped who he has become as a person.

“Boston is a second home for me.” Smart said.

“I spent a little bit over half my life here,” Smart continued. “I got here when I was 20, now I’m about to be turning 30.”

Smart joined the Celtics at the height of a full rebuild in the mid 2010s. And he stuck with the team through the turmoil, eventually playing point guard for the team that went to the Finals in 2022.  He spoke about his steady relationship with the community in that time.

“It was just the way that Boston took me in,” Smart explained. We all know playing in the city isn’t the easiest. There are plenty of times when they let us know about it. Especially me.”

Smart worked hard on and off the court to make an impact. He spoke about never taking his experiences for granted, and why playing in Boston is a special experience, even as a visitor.

“Everything is always great here.” Smart said. “And I speak for everybody, opposing teams and guys who have played here, that’s there’s nothing like playing in this place and playing in the city, with these fans.”

The Grizzlies have been waylaid by injuries this season, and Smart is once again serving as a leader for a team facing a ton of adversity. Thankfully, he’s the man for the job.

“They allowed me to grow, they allowed me to see a different side of myself. And they watched me become a man.”

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire