Former Boston Celtics fan favorite discusses playing with villainous superstar.

Marcus Smart, a former Boston Celtics fan favorite, spoke with Dallas Basketball’s Grant Afseth about playing with notorious Beantown (and Cleveland, and Brooklyn) villain Kyrie Irving, revealing what he valued learning from the eight-time All-Star.

“I would have to say my favorite part about being Kyrie’s teammate is his ability to see the game and just learning from him,” Smart said of the NBA player. “What he sees on the court, both offensively and when going against defenses.” Just picking his brain about certain plays, matchups, how to get his shot in certain areas, and how he can lock in and play consistently every night.”


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Smart’s Memphis Grizzlies lost their fourth game of the season against Irving’s Dallas Mavericks on October 30. Smart had a well-rounded 23-point, nine-assist, five-rebound stat line, but Irving was not in the lineup; sidelined with a foot issue.

Marcus Smart one of the few beneficiaries of Kyrie Irving’s Boston Celtics tenure

While Smart seemed to glean positivity from Irving’s presence in Boston, that’s not the case for Jayson Tatum, who allegedly picked up bad habits from Irving in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and from Tristan Thompson in 2020-21.

“I keep going back to Kyrie (Irving) and Tristan Thompson,” Locked On Celtics’ John Karalis prefaced before saying, “And I swear I feel like they poisoned Tatum’s brain. I feel like those guys, at the beginning, Tatum learned from Kyrie, that the regular season doesn’t matter. You’ve learned from Tristan Thompson that the regular season doesn’t matter. And I just don’t think he puts the same value (on the regular season). I really, I honestly believe that.”

While Irving was never a bad addition to the Celtics, his long-term impact isn’t ideal. It hasn’t stopped Boston from making deep playoff runs, but it’s fair to wonder if it has pushed the Cs closer to Banner 18.


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Beale Street Bears’ Mark Nilon, formerly of Hardwood Houdini, believes that the Boston Celtics’ decision to trade the draft pick who turned out to be Desmond Bane will always “make the skin crawl” of fans and members of the front office.

“Missing out (Bane’s) production would make almost any team in the league upset, especially one like the Celtics that actively worked to rid themselves of it before ever getting a real taste,” Nilon prefaced before saying, “For both fans and members of the franchise, the ‘what could have been’ mentality when it comes to Bane is one that will undoubtedly make the skin crawl.”

Nilon was responding to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, who claimed the Cs have “surely been kicking themselves ever since” the Bane trade.

“Bane, the No. 30 pick, would have been the Celtics’ third player added to their first-round haul at the 2020 draft after previously selecting Aaron Nesmith (No. 14) and Payton Pritchard (No. 26),” Buckley prefaced before saying, “He also would have nudged them closer to the luxury tax.

“So, the Shamrocks flipped him for a pair of future second-round picks, and they’ve surely been kicking themselves ever since.”

Desmond Bane could have become the Boston Celtics’ Aaron Nesmith.
Missing Bane is a big if, but the Celtics have won enough games in the last three seasons to justify the move. Even if Bane had stayed, he’d most likely be on the bench right now

. Perhaps he would have developed into another Aaron Nesmith, who blossomed only after leaving Boston and being stuck behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Overall, things will most likely turn out well for Boston. The same cannot be said for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Even with Ja Morant out, the Grizzlies are paying Bane as a No. 1 option. Their league-worst first week of the season is not a proper payoff for the $207 million he’s now owed over the next five years through 2028-29.

Sure sounds like two-time former Boston Celtics big can be on trade block soon

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