Smart fires back at those who say Celtics need ‘real point guard’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The longest running Boston Celtic was the subject of trade rumors last season, even after signing a $77 million four-year contract extension in August. He is in the conversation again, despite his success as the C’s starting point guard in 2021-22, helping them achieve their first NBA Finals berth since 2010.
At this point, Smart shrugs off the criticism and lets the results speak for themselves.
“I think I’ve proven a little bit of everything,” Smart told Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe† “I hear the conversations about ‘He’s not a real point guard’ and this and that. “They need an observatory.” We’ve had star point guards, and yet this so-called non-point guard is the only one who led them to the final.
“I think that says enough there. I don’t really need to say too much more. I think everyone is finally seeing and understanding the person I really am, and what I can do if I get the chance.”
Smart recovered the Celtics’ attack after returning from injury on January 23. From then on, Boston went 28-7 to No. 2 in the Eastern Conference. Smart averaged 12.8 points, 6.5 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game during that period. The Defensive Player of the Year drew attention with his playing style and calmed critics who doubted his ability to be the team’s first guard.
Those same critics are back after the Celtics failed to take home Banner 18, advocating for Boston to upgrade to the point guard position. New year, same story.
“And I’m still here,” Smart said to Himmelsbach. “I’m still the Celtic with the longest tenure. So to me I take it as a compliment. It means you’re pretty highly regarded and when your name is talked about, people want you. But I don’t pay much attention to it.” at.” I know what I bring to the table, and that’s what I focus on, what I bring to this team.
“We’ll figure out everything else. [President of basketball operations Brad Stevens] is great at what he does and he is going to pick out the right pieces to make sure we keep going in the right direction.”
We’ll see what Stevens has in store once the NBA free-bureau opens on Thursday. It would be a surprise to see Smart go anywhere after one of the best seasons of his eight-year NBA career.