Sunday, February 9, 2014

Decoding the Marcus Smart Situation and What it Really Means!


Marcus Smart, the outstanding combo guard who plays at Oklahoma State University, will never be looked at the same by fans, teammates, coaches, evaluators, and everybody else. In a 65-61 loss to Texas Tech, Smart's actions were unacceptable.

Smart will be facing disciplinary action from OKState or the Big 12. He will likely be suspended; the Big 12 Conference is reviewing the incident as you read this.

With his team down two points, Smart hustled back on defense to block a layup but was called for a foul. He fell into the crowd when he obviously heard a man say something he didn't like. Smart pushed that man, Jeff Orr, with two hands and with what looked like a good amount of force. Orr stumbled back but didn't fall.



It has now been reported that Marcus Smart claims Jeff Orr called him a slur.
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It's these types of incidents that make the game of basketball worse. If players keep doing this at any level and it becomes more of a frequent thing, leagues will begin to take action. And those actions would be nothing but trouble to themselves, the players, and the fans. If players keep this up, people in high authority will consider 'protecting' the fans with a barrier or wall of some sort. That would take away the unique experience of basketball in which you feel like you're right next to the stars.

A barrier between the court and the fans would drive away season-ticket holders, drive ticket prices and sales down, so inevitably making the league less profitable.

This incident wasn't as extreme as the Malice at the Palace, but it may make the NBA and NCAA think a little more about the safety of their fans and players. After the fan vs. player brawl in the Pistons and Pacers game, the NBA changed many rules regarding alcoholic beverages that still stand today. They also enforced that at least three security guards must be between the players and the fans.



With those precautionary measures not working, could the NBA or NCAA possibly be considering walls or barriers that would ultimately ensure fan safety but also take away from the overall experience? Probably not right now, but if this keeps happening, that would definitely be a topic of discussion in the future for Adam Silver.
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Back to Marcus Smart now; how will the incident affect his draft stock and the way NBA organizations look at him? Smart is projected to be picked sixth according to ESPN's mock draft, but I suspect his stock will drop to around 10 because of his now questionable character.

If the Celtics drafted Smart, I would actually be happy. I wouldn't be concerned with his personality because of the leadership in the front office and coach Brad Stevens. If Boston were to draft Marcus Smart, I suspect they would attempt to trade for a veteran player to put Smart under his wing. That would reassure nothing like this ever happens again with him.

The only thing that would concern me about drafting Smart would be if the Celtics didn't have a ton of veteran leaders in the locker room and he didn't get along with Rondo. It seems like both Rondo and Smart have strong personalities, so if they clashed, it would not be pretty.