"I wish my mom was here to see that" - Marcus Smart remembers his late mother as he opens up about playing in front of Barack Obama

Marcus Smart, the Boston Celtics' floor general
Marcus Smart, the Boston Celtics' floor general
Akhil Khatri

Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics has played remarkably well in his new starting point guard role this season. His ability to be an enabler as well as a reliable defender have made him indispensable.

The Celtics picked up their 50th win against the Chicago Bulls, with Smart logging nine points, six assists and being active on defense. The 117-94 win was decisive, but Smart will remember the night as special for another reason – playing in front of former U.S. President Barack Obama.

Marcus Smart: "That's definitely a highlight of my life, my career - to play in front of somebody like [Barack Obama]"

Smart explained what the game meant to him, while remembering his late mother:

“Yeah man, it’s the former President of the United States. I mean, I think that’s one of the biggest celebrities you can play in front of. You know, that’s an honor.
“You know, to be able to come in here and have that opportunity is something. I wish my mom was here to see that. But she’s watching, smiling over me. She saw that. That’s definitely a highlight of my life and my career to play in front of somebody like that.”

Marcus Smart’s mother,Camellia Smart, lost her battle with cancer in September 2018 and was one of his biggest cheerleaders. The relationship he shared with her was evident over the times he’s spoken about her in the media. In 2019, he dressed up like royalty for the season opener. He later explained his choice of outfit:

“"It’s a special day. It’s the one-month anniversary of my mom’s passing. She always called me her little king, so I had to dress like one.”

Throughout the season, Smart has been the team’s floor general, averaging 12.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 69 games. He fits in well with the Ime Udoka's system, acting as an anchor around superstars like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Smart’s defensive contribution of 1.7 steals per game is another aspect that makes him invaluable.

Although Smart’s statistical contribution has remained similar to his previous two seasons, his role has improved. The added responsibility has helped him become one of the team's leaders. His basketball IQ is one of the reasons for the upgrade in his role.

Marcus Smart’s eighth trip to the playoffs with the Celtics

The Boston Celtics (50-30) are second in the East with just two games left. While they are destined for the playoffs, where they will finish is yet to be decided. The Milwaukee Bucks (49-30) and the Philadelphia 76ers (49-30) trail Boston by a half-game.

After being eliminated by the Brooklyn Nets last season, Boston has come out strong this year – losing only one game to them this season. The Celtics' performances have elevated their status to a strong contender in the East. With the Jayson Tatum-Jaylen Brown duo being the catalysts, they have championship hopes for this postseason.

Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein


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