Marcus Smart responds to shooting criticism, explains why Celtics fans are so cool

Marcus Smart understands that he is a polarizing player. But he’s gained a little perspective over the past seven seasons.

The Celtics guard remains the longest-serving player in Boston after speculation about his transfer ahead of last week’s NBA trade deadline. Smart has been involved in a lot of trade rumors in recent years and admitted that the gossip doesn’t affect him as much as it once did.

“I don’t lose sleep (due to trade rumours),” Smart said Monday during a live taping of the “The Old Man and the Three” podcast with hosts J.J. Riddick and Tommy Alter. “Some of my colleagues do that. Every year, they look at me like, ‘How are you doing that while you’re still here?’ And I’m like, I told you, ‘I let my game do the talking.'”

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Smart has been playing well lately, scoring 22 points in two of his last three games and averaging 14.7 points and 5.2 assists over his last six competitions. He’s only shot 29.4% from three points during that time, though, and still has a reputation as a poor 3-point shooter.

The 27-year-old had a strong response ready for this criticism.

“I mean, we can sit here and talk about my shooting. I’m probably not the best shooter in the world,” Smart said. “But let’s not forget that I still hold the record for most triples in a Celtics outfit.

“It’s a popularity contest. People have men they like the most, so no matter what these guys do, they’ll always be right, and no matter what these guys do, they’ll always be wrong.”

Smart is right: He hit a franchise record of 11 triples in 22 attempts during Jan. 18, 2020, a loss to the Phoenix Suns. He also ranks fourth in Celtics history with 3 throws with a score of 750, behind only Paul Pierce, Antoine Walker and Ray Allen. (He is 3rd in 3-point attempts, to score.)

These stats probably won’t stop Celtics fans from booing when the Smart misses a triple indicator. But the veteran guard wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The way they cheer us up in the park, the way they boo your ass when we’re not doing what we’re supposed to do — they tell us,” Smart said.

“They keep us grounded. Only the best fans do. It’s like a good friend: You don’t want the person who always says yes; you want the person who will be honest with you no matter what. And that’s the Boston fan.”

Smart has his flaws, but his stellar defense, stubborn hustle and playmaking ability make the Celtics even better, which explains why he wasn’t traded in Boston – and why fans still love him.

Check out Smart’s full interview with Redick and Alter below:

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