Marcus Smart Fined By NBA
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart received a not-so-nice gift from the NBA on his 24th birthday, as the league fined him $15,000 for his public criticism of the league's officiating on Saturday night.
According to ESPN's Chris Forsberg, Smart's fine is linked to comments he made following his initial interaction with the media after Boston's 123-120 loss to the Houston Rockets this weekend.
Here's a look at the comments, regarding James Harden, that had Smart handing out gifts on his birthday:
"When you're playing a guy like that who gets those types of calls, it's pretty much like you're playing in foul trouble," Smart told the Globe. "You've got to play really certain. You have to be really solid. You can't really play the defense that you want, because you know nine times out of 10, he's going to get those calls. It doesn't matter whether your hands are up or not. He still gets them. We saw that here tonight a few times, and we've seen that every other game.
"He has a way of using his hands, grabbing us, pulling us into him and drawing those fouls. He's been doing it for a long time. He gets the benefit of the doubt."
Smart might have a point about the difficulties in guarding a player of Harden's caliber, but any comments like that are always going to draw the league attention and force you to cough up some cash.