After nine seasons with the boston celticsSurprisingly, Marcus Smart will be wearing a Memphis Grizzlies uniform during the 2023-24 NBA season.
Smart was traded earlier this week as part of a three team deal who sent Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis to the Celtics.
On Friday, Smart posted an emotional goodbye to the only city he has called home in his NBA career.
«I came to Boston as a naive kid from Dallas not really knowing what to expect,» Smart wrote in a Twitter post. «All I knew was the kind of work ethic my mom instilled in me and I was going to work hard and make sure I EARNED the respect of each and every fan in Boston. That’s why this is tuff.» .»
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«Boston, you are a very special place to me. I grew up here and met some of my best friends here. I will never forget my time here. In the end, we didn’t get that.» 18 banner but I am VERY VERY proud of the success we had. I’m going to miss a lot about Boston, but mostly my teammates, fans and kids and our charity work at the hospital.»
«It’s been a great 9 years in Boston, thanks for all the love…but now it’s time to look forward.»
Smart was selected by the Celtics with the sixth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draftand the defensive specialist was the heart and soul of the roster during multiple deep playoff runs.
Smart was appointed 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year when Boston reached its first NBA Finals since 2010.
«The greatest legacy you can leave behind is being somewhere, and it’s better because you were there. And I think everyone here feels that way,» Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens told reporters, according to ESPN.
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«I think he’s always going to be so cherished and thought of here for a number of reasons. Obviously everyone loved the way he plays and how hard he plays, but also his work in the community. You know, we’re all very grateful to have Marcus in our life for so long and we are sad to see him go.»
In an interview with Fox News Digital in April, Smart expressed his desire to retire as a Celtic.
«To be able to play for one of the most prestigious franchises in the league, and then not just play for them, but spend your entire career there? You don’t see that very often. You don’t see it a lot.» It’s very rare,» Smart told Fox News Digital.
«Being able to do that says a lot about you as a player. [and] like a person. And he also talks about you as part of that culture of being a champion. To be part of this franchise.
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«So to be able to spend the rest of my career here would be amazing,» he continued. «And being up there with those guys [past Celtics’ champions] saying ‘Boston all the way’ would be an amazing feeling.»
Smart will join a Memphis team in desperate need of veteran leadership after a rocky season that culminated in a six-game series loss to the los angeles lakers in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
«I can’t wait to get to Memphis and get started. We’ve got something special brewing here!» Smart’s Friday post continued. «I’m lucky to be a part of the Grizzly nation. Let’s get to work.»