A tribute to Camellia Smart and her gift to the Celtics community - her son, Marcus

There is a deep and sincere sadness in me learning of the death of Camellia Smart. My mom died of cancer at the age of 46, and everything I am, I owe to her fine upbringing. Camellia obviously had a very positive impact on the Marcus Smart that we know and adore. Every team would be damn lucky to have one.

I love the guy, and I always look forward to writing about him. There is not one player in the League quite like Marcus. He is physically and mentally strong - fearless - persistent - modest - and just plain wants to win. He owes that to his mom, and her positive influence won't wane just because she has left the physical earth. The First Law of Thermodynamics tells us just that:

The first law of thermodynamics, also known as Law of Conservation of Energy, states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another

Science aside, the physical, mental and emotional energy that Camellia generated in raising Marcus now belongs to him, and we will be reminded of that the next time a game seems lost and Smart comes up with a key block, steal, rebound or deflection that turns things around. As one of my readers once wrote, "As long as Marcus is in the game, I feel we have a chance of winning it." I could not have said it better.

The fact he was left of SI's Top-100 Player List for this season is a travesty. We mourn the loss of Camellia but rejoice that we have her son in the Celtics ranks. She did a fine job.

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Photo via Charles Krupa/AP Photo