Todd Kirkland/Associated Press
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been fined $35,000 by the NBA for a “physical altercation and failure to leave [the] court” in a timely manner Saturday night, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
Smart was ejected in Boston’s 113-105 win over the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena after an altercation with DeAndre’ Bembry. Smart received a technical foul after the two had to be separated before a jump ball and was tossed since it was his second of the game. He didn’t initially leave the court, however, and attempted to charge Bembry before teammates and referees again separated the pair.
Head coach Brad Stevens said after the game that he wasn’t surprised Smart got ejected.
“From what I saw, obviously, deserved to be ejected,” he said, per ESPN.com. “And, I don’t know what was said. I haven’t asked [Smart]; I haven’t talked to him about it, but, obviously there’s league punishment for that type of stuff. Can’t react that way.”
Kyrie Irving also addressed the situation.
“I just think that we accept Marcus for who he is, in terms of being fiery,” he said. “You know, bringing that type of energy. You know, s–t happens sometimes where the game goes like that and an altercation happens, we just gotta pick right back up.”
Bembry, who also received a technical foul for his role in the altercation, told reporters it wasn’t unusual for Smart to get so heated.
“He lost his cool after the ref told him he’s ejected,” Bembry said. “I think after that he just thought he had nothing else to lose.”
“That’s what he does—you’ve seen him do that plenty of times,” he added, per Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. “Just tried to keep my cool. Just try to win the game. That was about it for me.”
Smart did manage to avoid a suspension, however. The 24-year-old remains a crucial part of Boston’s rotation, offering a key defensive presence on the court and leadership off it. He’s averaging 7.9 points and 4.0 assists in 26.3 minutes per game. He’s made 25 starts and 45 appearances for the Celtics.
The team has a 7.3 net rating with Smart on the court, according to NBA.com. It’s the third-best mark among Celtics with over 1,000 minutes played, behind Kyrie Irving (8.9) and Jayson Tatum (8.1).