The Reappearance of Marcus Smart

Smart's decision to return for his sophomore season has been met with plenty of criticism as of late.

If anyone actually reads this I’m assuming you rolled your eyes at the title. Another Marcus Smart article, can’t wait. Trust me I understand the frustration, the “shove heard around the world” has engulfed not just sporting news the past week but also landed time on national outlets. Just two weeks after the national media helped elevate Richard Sherman’s post-game rant into the year’s first discussion on race relations in America, seemingly on cue they’ve picked up the ball again. Blowing another ordinary moment out of proportion. Don’t think this topic has had the same effect? Have you read the youtube comments lately, thanks Macklemore.


Been too busy watching the 2014 Putin Olympics? I’ll summarize the event objectively as possible.


19-year-old college basketball player loses cool when opposing fan makes cruel remark, player responds by pushing the fan. End of story.


This isn’t about that event, nor should it be. What happened with Marcus Smart and the now infamous fan Jeff Orr is indeed regrettable on every level; an athlete should never put their hands on a fan, period. It doesn’t matter what the fan said, athletes today are going to be treated with unwarranted hatred on a daily basis, being in the spotlight comes with that. And fans need to realize that although heckling is a part of the game everyone has a breaking point, particularly 19-year-olds.


The bigger story here is the sudden reappearance of Marcus Smart after what has seemed like months away from the public eye. The consensus All-American has spent much of the 2013-2014 season in mediocrity, by his standards, so when I saw his name on the front page of every sporting website in existence I was hoping he had found his former self. Instead it seems as if he has grown aware of the mistake he made a year prior.


Smart’s decision to return for his sophomore season was considered refreshing for some and even more confusing for others. After being projected a top pick in 2013’s NBA Draft, Smart threw caution as well as several million dollars to the wind in order to return to school and improve his craft.


An oversized point guard, listed at 6’4” 220, Smart intended to return to Oklahoma State to develop what many scouts believed to be his biggest flaw, shooting. Since his return Smart has done little to impress scouts, marginally improving his field goal percentage while decreasing his three point and free throw shooting. His inconsistent scoring has hurt more than just his draft stock as the Cowboys now sit at 4-7 in conference play and are on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament. If the Cowboys fail to make the NCAA Tournament the blame will not fall solely on Smart’s shoulders, as the team has been plagued with injury and under performed much of the season, but after last years 24-9 record many expected an encore to Smart’s phenomenal freshman campaign.


So while the infamous shove and subsequent three game suspension may tarnish Smart’s reputation with casual fans, it will likely be his play this season that will impact his draft stock. The former McDonald’s All American still has plenty of time to improve and with a late season run I’m sure many would forget this week’s events. Winning, as they say, is the best medicine.