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First, Marcus Smart was highly touted for his play as a member of the USA Select Team, younger players chosen to play against the candidates for the USA National Team in this summer’s FIBA World Championship. The Celtics rookie, one of just two first-year players picked to play against the best American NBA players, was getting props? I started to get excited about the sixth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Then I saw this video of Smart pranking his fellow rookies at their photo day as part of a SportsNation scavenger hunt. And I fell in love — no capital “L” necessary:
Pants your former OK State teammate? Check.
Eat snacks with Shabazz Napier? Check.
Photobomb fellow rookie and Celtics teammate James Young? Play with ninja turtles? Check and check.
For me, the most encouraging/surprising takeaway from the video for me was just how much everyone liked Smart, even after getting pranked (well, except Jabari Parker, who’s having none of it). He seems nothing like the player who was criticized for his character due to altercations with fans and a bad attitude.
Oh, you prefer Smart’s alley oop off his head to Young? Yeah, I won’t argue with that.