Marcus Smart was ejected during the Boston Celtics’ embarrassing rout of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, and if you watched how he was dealt with, you undoubtedly knew that the NBA would hit him with a sizable punishment. As he was being dismissed by the referees, the defending Defensive Player of the Year completely lost it and threw a fit.
True enough, the NBA did not think twice before fining Smart $35,000 for using “inappropriate words” against the referees. Although the specific words Smart said are unknown, it is evident that he wasn’t trying to be kind when he launched into what appeared to be an NSFW tirade while being restrained by the coaching staff:
Marcus Smart is HEATED following his ejection while down 111-83 in Oklahoma City pic.twitter.com/fUtuCmlz6T
— Bally Sports Oklahoma (@BallySportsOK) January 4, 2023
One of the individuals that pulled Smart back as he tried to express his anger against the officials was Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla. Smart might have easily gotten into greater trouble if it weren’t for coach Joe.
The Boston shot-caller offered a wonderfully spot-on response when asked about his thoughts on Smart’s fine: Mazzulla stated, “I gave him a hug and told him I loved him.
What did Joe Mazzulla say to Marcus Smart after he was fined by the league?
“I gave him a hug & told him I loved him” pic.twitter.com/ov4IrrEqzg
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) January 5, 2023
You can tell Mazzulla wasn’t joking since he made his succinct assertion while maintaining a straight face. This is even funnier because of his expressionless face. Coach Joe, don’t alter.
Marcus Smart, on the other hand, will probably want to pause before acting out again. However, this is all included in the package for the fiery guard, so I’m confident that this won’t be the last time we see Smart removed (and fined) for criticizing the referees.