I may be breaking a Bullets Forever rule here, since this post isn't strictly about the Washington Wizards. First off, let me say this right away in case some of you just look at the title and go right to the comments, this is not intended in any way to advocate bringing Marcus Smart onto this team, now or in the future. I simply wanted to discuss a major sports story with the most passionate, and intelligent fans that I converse with on a daily basis.
So with that out of the way, let me ask you guys what you think of Marcus Smart as a basketball player. I didn't watch him at all last year, I literally didn't see a single Oklahoma State game from last season and made a mental note to check out this Smart kid. NBAdraft.net compared him to James Harden and he was flying up draft boards. So this season I was a little excited to watch OK State play Memphis the second time. I was underwhelmed to say the least. He doesn't have a tight handle, and as a go to scorer his game leaves a lot to be desired. Basically I don't see him as a point guard. He is athletic, but not a guy that makes you watch on the edge of your seat like Victor Oladipo. The player I was most impressed with was Phil Forte, and again after watching the Kansas game. Everyone has a bad game from time to time and everything I read about him says that his limitations are overcome by his outstanding intangibles and leadership.
Then the Texas Tech game happened. By now we have all seen the clip of Smart shoving the fan. I am sure words like thug are going to be thrown around for a long time when discussing the incident and when discussing Smart. The whole thing reminded me of the fans giving Joakim Noah the finger and Noah calmly walking away. Two explosive guys with big personalities and they reacted in opposite ways. Obviously Noah has the benefit of age and experience and handled himself the way we have become accustomed to athletes handling themselves in these situations. But Smart overreacted. Honestly, coming from where I am from I have fouled guys harder than that playing pickup because I didn't want to get dunked on, so my first reaction was, "that wasn't that bad." There is however a certain decorum that someone in Smart's position should not violate. It is very curious to me that OK State won't release what happened that caused Smart to react like that. That lady clapping in his face when he fell seemed to me to be the instigator, so I was surprised when Smart put his hands on the other guy. I read rumors that say it was a racial slur, and Smart's reaction to his teammates pulling him away leads me to believe that it was something along those lines. Being from the South myself I have heard all kinds of racist names directed at me even in this day and age. I never reacted like Smart, but I know many people that have. Smart has been given all kinds of room to blow up by his coach and school. He is hailed, and probably rightfully so, as the player who saved the OK State program. That school is riding a wave of momentum and is bringing in another talented recruiting class.
So what are your opinions on the incident? Do you think Smart crossed the line, and no matter what the guy said, should never have put his hands on the fan? Can you understand something that would make Smart react that way? Did he just cost himself a ton of cash? Or, like me, do you not get the hype about him anyway?