On Saturday night, the Jazz got a huge upset victory over the defending champion Miami Heat. The crowd was into the game, the Heat were frustrated, and LeBron James had a game he hopes to soon forget. However, as good as the game was for the Jazz, the win was quickly overshadowed by some breaking news out of the college basketball world.
In the final seconds of an Oklahoma State loss at Texas Tech, projected lottery pick Marcus Smart went running down the court to try and attempt to block a dunk attempt by Texas Tech. Smart fouled and fell into the stands. As he was on the ground, a fan yelled down on him and said something that set Smart off. Smart jumped up, turned around, shouted back at the fan who was still chirping at him, and then shoved the fan before being pulled back onto the court. If you haven’t seen the video, check it out here:
The video here doesn’t show a good camera angle of Smart as he is being pulled back onto the court, but in a video shown on Sports Center last night, it gives a pretty good indication on what might have been said. As Smart is looking back and pointing at the fan, it looks pretty clear that Smart is upset over being called an ugly name by the fan. Both the fan and Smart should be held accountable for their actions. As a player, you have to be able to control your emotions and never get into altercations with fans. As a fan, it is totally acceptable to boo opposing players, but there is a line that you can not cross and the fan clearly seems to have crossed it.
Before the incident, Smart was projected to go 6th overall in the draft according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com. After the incident, the Twitter world began wondering how this will effect Smart’s overall draft stock. In my opinion, it shouldn’t cause it to take a big hit. Smart has never been questioned about his character. According to media outlets that are close to Smart, something of this nature is completely out of character for Smart to do.
If anything is going to effect Smart’s draft stock, it will be his poor shooting from the three point line. Smart has been averaging just over 17 points per game, which NBA GM’s will really like, but from beyond the arc, Smart is only shooting 28%. That kind of percentage is something GM’s will look at hard, and it is a percentage that is lower than last seasons percentage. Last season, Smart was nearly just as terrible from downtown, as he shot 29% for the season.
After the NCAA has had time to review the incident, Smart will more than likely be suspended. The length of the suspension will be the question. When it comes time for Smart to sit down and talk with NBA GM’s about his character, the incident will be discussed and more than likely will be a situation that GM’s will look past as it is his first incident doing anything of this caliber. Marcus Smart is still an NBA lottery pick. His talent is undeniable, but his shooting percentage from beyond the arc will be the most looked at thing by NBA teams.