Marcus Smart has become the NBA’s pre-eminent vigilante, a player you love when he’s on your side but absolutely hate when he’s up against your favorite team. Smart also has a history with NBA referees, often getting fined for flopping or thrown out of games due to his all-out style of play. After a few chippy moments in Boston’s narrow loss to the Heat on Wednesday, teammate Jaylen Brown lobbied the referees to not “pick on” Smart.
Ever the supportive teammate, Brown took it upon himself during a pause in play while Goran Dragic shot a free throw to kindly ask the refs to leave Smart alone.
“We need him,” Brown made a point of noting.
Former Celtic Kendrick Perkins, who felt he was victimized by referees during his playing career as well, said on The Jump on Wednesday that referees do go into games with a bad taste if a player has a history of acting up on the court. Maybe Brown’s plea was reasonable, after all.
Maybe Brown’s plea was reasonable, after all. And even if it wasn’t, or if he was just joking, what this really is is just more evidence that Brown is one of the top guys you’d want on your side on an NBA court.