Marcus Smart wishes the NBA was more physical: 'Everybody's scared to get hit'

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart may have been born in the 1990s, but he thinks he’s much better suited to play basketball in the ’60s and ’70s. Smart thinks he would have thrived in an era where the National Basketball Association embraced physicality, according to Bleacher Report’s Mirin Fader.

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That’s not how things are now, and the 24-year-old Smart doesn’t seem too happy about it.

“Back in the ’60s, ’70s, my mindset and the way I play would be perfect. They play like that every game,” Smart says.

That’s just what it is.

“That’s just what it is! Exactly!” he says, a smile breaking through. “I think we kind of lost that in today’s game. Everything’s become real cute. Everybody’s scared to go to the rim. Everybody’s scared to get hit. Everybody’s scared to touch.

“I thrive on the contact. Contact is in my nature.”

Specifically, Smart calls out today’s players for being afraid to drive the lane and get hit. He says “everything’s become real cute.”

You don’t even have to go back to the ’60s and ’70s to prove the game has changed drastically over the years. There are plenty of NBA highlight videos from the ’80s that show Michael Jordan taking hard fouls in the paint that wouldn’t go over well today.

Marcus Smart thinks current NBA players are afraid to take hits. (AP Photo)
Marcus Smart thinks current NBA players are afraid to take hits. (AP Photo)

That’s probably not going to change. NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke glowingly about the current state of the game during the All-Star festivities, according to Pro Basketball Talk. Silver specifically praised rule changes that have enabled more “skill-based playing.”

Being a hard-nosed defensive player is a skill, of course. So while Smart may not be the poster child for the current era of the NBA, he’s still proved to be plenty valuable for the Celtics.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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