Marcus Smart | Photo courtesy of Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Marcus Smart is the longest tenured Boston Celtics player as he enters his sixth year in the league. He has been the heart and soul for good and bad Celtics teams. As we know, he doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet, but he makes winning plays on a weekly basis. Those winning plays have sometimes taken a toll on his body.
But as Marcus admits, he’s “getting older.” It sounds silly coming from a 25 year old entering his prime, however, it makes sense in the context of his statement. He is referencing his ability and willingness to play through injury. As he gets older and more experienced, he is growing and becoming smarter when it comes to playing with bumps and bruises.
Yeah, I’m getting older, I’m getting old” Smart said. Your body takes a little bit longer to recover now as you get older, back probably when I was a little bit younger I probably would’ve tried to play through the calf injury and probably would have caused even more pain and probably something else worse. For me, this year is really just being that veteran player and understanding when to push it and when not to.
With age, Smart seems to becoming wiser. He continues:
Everybody knows how hard I am, how tough I am, and sometime I feel like that gets the best of me where I feel like I’m hurt and could probably still play through it, and I’m probably risking it by going out there and trying instead of just giving myself that time to recover and get back 100 percent.
For the Celtics to succeed, the team needs a healthy Marcus. Last year he finally made All-NBA Defense and set career highs in two-point and three-point percentages. He has also come a long way as a playmaker, and his pick and roll game is now a weapon.
Smart is key to the operation on and off the court. He is a leader and an authority in that locker room. If he is given the title of captain or not, he will still assume a lot of responsibility. His voice will be heard more if he is contributing on the court, so putting his health as a priority is that smart play for this leader.