After nine seasons with the Boston Celtics, Marcus Smart will shockingly be in a Memphis Grizzlies uniform during the 2023-24 NBA season. Smart was traded earlier this week as part of a three-team deal that sent Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis to the Celtics. Boston Celtics PG Marcus Smart has to be held back by head coach Joe Mazzulla after an altercation with Utah Jazz G Kris Dunn. The Celtics beat the Jazz, 122-114.

On Friday, Smart posted an emotional goodbye to the only city he’s 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 type of work ethic my momma instilled in me and I was going to work my a– off and make sure I EARNED the respect of each and every one of the fans in Boston. Which is why this is tuff.”

CELTICS’ MARCUS SMART KNOWS TITLE SHOTS DON’T COME AROUND OFTEN AHEAD OF HAWKS SERIES: ‘MAY BE OUR ONLY SHOT’

“Boston, you are a very special place to me. I grew up here and met some of my best friends here. I’ll never forget my time here. Ultimately we didn’t get that 18th banner but I’m VERY VERY proud of the success we had. I’m going to miss so many things about Boston but mainly my teammates, fans, and kids and our hospital charity work.”

“It was a great 9 years Boston, thank you for all the love … but now it’s time to look forward.”

Smart was drafted by the Celtics with the sixth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and the defensive specialist was the heart and soul of the roster during multiple deep playoff runs. Marcus Smart, #36 of the Boston Celtics, receives the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award before Round 1 Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets on April 20, 2022, at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Smart was named the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year as Boston reached its first NBA Finals since 2010. “The greatest legacy that you can leave is to be someplace, and it’s better off because you were there. And I think that everybody here feels that way,” Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens told reporters, per ESPN.

“I think that he will always be appreciated and thought of so fondly here for any number of reasons. Obviously, everybody loved the way that he plays and how hard he plays, but also his work in the community. You know, we’re all really grateful to have Marcus in our life for as long as we’ve had and 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 to not only play for them, you 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. Marcus Smart, #36 of the Boston Celtics, celebrates during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat on May 27, 2023, at the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida.

“To be able to do that, it speaks volume about you as a player [and] as a person. And it also speaks about you as part of that culture of being a champion. Of being a part of this franchise.

“So, to be able to spend the rest of my career here would be amazing,” he continued. “And to be 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 postseason. “I can’t wait to get to Memphis and get started. We have something special brewing here!” Smart’s Friday post continued. “Am blessed to be part of Grizzly nation. Let’s get to work.”


Joe Morgan is a Sports Reporter for Fox News.

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