On Marcus Smart, Kevin Durant’s Co-Sign And Being At Peace With Tough Decisions

Basketball, Ed The Sports Fan — By on November 20, 2013 at 2:31 pm

marcus smart cowboys vs tigers
Julius Randle. Jabari Parker. Andrew Wiggins. While those three players are poised to stake their claim as the kings of college basketball, there’s only one player whose the reigning king of the mountain. His name is Marcus Smart.

“All my life, I’ve been a winner, you know? Back-to-back state championships and then to come in and finally make the NCAA Tournament. Just all my life I’ve been winning. But this team, I felt like we had a lot more to accomplish. We were a lot better team than that. That’s just not the way we wanted to go out. It helped me a little bit to get motivated to come back this year.” — Marcus Smart, as told to SLAM in the summer of 2013

The questions of why Smart decided to return to college basketball is now a moot point. He himself decided that he wasn’t ready, he was still enjoying school and he still had things to accomplish. In a world where many have questioned this simple logic, Smart has seemed at peace with his decision, and on Tuesday night versus the No. 11 ranked Memphis Tigers, the leader of the No. 7 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys put on a show. #33 proved the world that this move was indeed the best move.

Marcus Smart dropped a 39/4/4/5/2 line on Memphis, and one member of the crowd made the easy observation that the man was ready for primetime.

Marcus can play in the league right now. Definitely, he was just unbelievable for them tonight. He was doing it all for them, rebounding, blocking shots, passing, scoring. He led them.

[...]

I knew he could do everything pretty well. But I like his demeanor. I like how he handles his teammates. A player like him, he always can burst out and get 30 or 40 points. He is poised, and the extra year will help him out as far as knowing the game more. I wish him good luck. — Kevin Durant

Who knows, maybe Kevin Durant wasn’t there to appreciate the game of Marcus Smart. Maybe Kevin Durant was there to remember the time he put the world on notice in Gallagher-Iba Arena vs. Mario Boggan that he was next. Maybe Kevin Durant was scouting him, taking a few notes and keeping his observations in the back of his head. Marcus Smart’s reign in college hoops will end in April, but his chances for NBA stardom will loom immediately following. The Association better get ready.

RELATED: Here Are The 5 Best Players In The Upcoming 2013-14 College Basketball Season, Period

Eddie Maisonet, III

Eddie Maisonet is an appreciator of the ultimate reality show that is sports.

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    5 Comments

  • Mia J says:

    I really like this kid. I’m hoping that he’s a remarkable success. It takes courage to make a decision and go against the grain.

  • JT says:

    I like how mature Smart is, he knew wasn’t ready to leave the college life alone. Also, he said wanted to fine tune some parts of his game and man did he ever show improvement last night. A kid like that you can’t help but root for him.

  • Esau says:

    This was needed. I’m really high on Marcus Smart, like everything about this kid tells me he could be a complete game changer for a franchise in the way Chris Paul or Deron Williams (For Utah) were.

    Just a really good guard that can play on or off ball.

  • I like now how it’s almost considered a bad thing when a player doesn’t leave early. Yes, there’s risk, but there’s always risk in taking a step you may not be ready for or don’t want to take yet. I admire any kid who makes his own decision on his own terms, whether it’s to stay or go. Good on Smart.

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