Memphis Grizzlies Marcus Smart
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Memphis Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart was ejected while inactive during the game against the Sacramento Kings

Published March 20, 2024 at 11:14
BY KEVIN BARREAU
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We've witnessed some peculiar occurrences this season, and the latest involves Marcus Smart being ejected while seated on the bench in street clothes. Despite not actively participating in the game, Smart received two technical fouls leading to his ejection. This incident adds to a series of unusual ejections seen throughout the 2023-24 NBA season. From Nikola Jokic's lackluster ejection during Serbian heritage night in Chicago, which even drew frustration from the Bulls broadcast team, to Thomas Bryant's ejection during his own ring ceremony earlier this month while serving a suspension, the season has been marked by bizarre moments. However, a player getting ejected while not even suited up? That's certainly one of the most peculiar occurrences yet.


On Tuesday, during the Memphis Grizzlies' overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings, Marcus Smart experienced an unusual turn of events. Despite being sidelined due to a torn thumb tendon since January, Smart has been present on the sidelines, closely watching his team play. The game was fiercely contested, with both teams trading blows throughout. However, Sacramento managed to secure a 109-107 lead with approximately three minutes remaining in overtime. During a crucial moment when Desmond Bane attempted to drive for a tying basket, he faced significant contact but no foul was called. With less than two minutes left and the Kings extending their lead to 115-107 following an emphatic Domantas Sabonis dunk, Smart's frustration boiled over. Upon returning from a commercial break, Malik Monk was at the free-throw line, and Smart found himself ejected after engaging in a heated argument with the officials.

While it's certainly uncommon, it's not entirely unprecedented for an injured player to be ejected. Back in 2018, DeMarcus Cousins was famously ejected from a Golden State Warriors game even before making his debut with the team.


In the larger context, Smart's ejection didn't hold much significance. By the time he was ejected, the Kings had essentially secured the victory, and the Grizzlies are currently far removed from playoff contention, rendering a win inconsequential. If anything, Smart's vocal reaction to the situation could be viewed as a savvy move. It's the kind of action that can contribute to building a strong team culture, particularly when the Grizzlies are fully healthy and aiming for success in the next season.

Smart, selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics, initially served as a bench player before transitioning to a regular starter in 2018 and assuming the role of starting point guard in 2021. Notably, he was honored as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the 2021–22 season, making him just the sixth guard in NBA history to achieve this accolade. Additionally, he has been named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team three times and has won the NBA Hustle Award on three occasions, securing it in 2019, 2022, and 2023. Smart played a pivotal role in the Celtics' journey to the NBA Finals in 2022 before being traded to the Grizzlies in 2023.

In his career with the Grizzlies, Marcus Smart has maintained averages of 14.5 points, 4.3 assists, and 2.7 rebounds across 20 games.

Source : CBS
Source : Twitter
Source : Wikipedia
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March 20   |   15 answers
Memphis Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart was ejected while inactive during the game against the Sacramento Kings

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