Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Celtics Legend Bill Russell Appreciated Marcus Smart Sticking Up For His Teammate

Celtics Legend Bill Russell Appreciated Marcus Smart Sticking Up For His Teammate

Not good. But even worse, he let his frustration get the best of him late in the game by committing a dirty foul on Celtics star Al Horford in the closing minutes, dangerously shoving the center from behind while he went up for an alley-oop.

Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics is held back after getting into an altercation with JR Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (not pictured) in the second half during Game Two of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 15, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. In the wake of the push, Smith was almost attacked by the Celtics' Marcus Smart, leading to technical fouls being assessed to both players.

Smith - who acknowledged he "blatantly pushed" Horford - was issued a flagrant foul upon review.

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"We're out there to play basketball", Smart said. "It's like a bully, you keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he's going to pick on you until you finally stand up".

"That's not the first time JR has done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us", he said. The player he often guarded, Jaylen Brown, led the Celtics with 23 points.There were myriad miscommunications on defense that led to wide-open Boston 3s. "One of my guys was down and I took offence to it". And you go and take two hands to the back; that's a dirty shot. It wasn't like I was trying to low bridge him or something.

What Smith did certainly was not just a "good, hard foul". "I understand why they gave me a flag there". But that's the one thing about the group of our guys: We have each other's backs. Smart took to the post-game press conference to make his feelings about Smith abundantly clear. Not only is he arguably the world's most avid celebrity golfer, he might love the game we love more than anyone on this planet.

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