BOSTON — Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart said he is moving on after being fined $25,000 by the league for his altercation with Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith in the last game of the preseason.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Smart said. “Like I said, I figured something was coming. I didn’t know exactly what it was, but I knew something was coming. It’s all good. It’s done with. Moving on.”
In the first quarter, after Smith and Aron Baynes got tangled up going for a rebound, Smart came charging in and shoved Smith from behind. Smith, who has a history of questionable plays against the Celtics, laughed at Smart while Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier wrestled him to ground. As Smart was ejected, Smith waved at him.
Smart said he was glad there wasn’t a suspension.
“I didn’t know what was going to come out of it,” Smart said. “But whatever did, you know, like I said, I would man up and take the consequences. You know, the league issued what they issued, and now it’s time for us to move on as a team.”
Brad Stevens was asked about Smart’s fiery demeanor, for which he has paid a price in the past.
“I mean obviously, you want him available for games, for sure,” Stevens said. Pressed further, he continued. “I think that ultimately we need him available for games. That’s the bottom line, and there’s obviously history there with those two guys, and he just reacted and escalated a situation, and that’s why he got kicked out and fined. But we need to understand that we need to be available for games.”
Last season, Smart missed time after slapping a picture frame and splitting his hand open. He earned a one-game suspension in 2015 for striking Matt Bonner in the groin, and he famously confronted and shoved a Texas Tech fan in college.
Smart was asked about Stevens’ comments, and the importance of him staying on the court.
“In that aspect so I don’t miss games and hurt my team,” Smart said. “Like I said, that’s how I’ve always been though. That’s me. Nothing’s going to change. Nobody’s going to change nothing at all. I’m going to continue being me. That’s how I was raised. That’s who I am. But obviously I’ve just got to think about the team. I’m important to my team and my teammates need me, so I can’t be missing any games.
“I need this team, and they need me.”