Whenever Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart gets on the floor, there are always going to be a plethora of NBA scouts watching. On Satuday night, they likely did not like what they saw, and some in fact were probably disgusted when they saw him shove a Texas Tech fan shortly after falling into the stands late in a 65-61 loss.
The biggest factor in this entire shoving scenario is what exactly the fan said to Smart prior to him giving the shove. Replays of the incident made it clear that the fan was talking to Smart prior to the altercation, and as the guard walked away, he looked incensed at whatever was said to him. What words were spoken remain a mystery at this point, but one would imagine that they are not pleasantries you would exchange with your grandma.
While there are no words or type of action from a fan that can be made to fully justify the actions of Smart, folks should hold their tongues before deciding that he will no longer be at top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. If the referees in the game thought that the guard was thoroughly instigated to the point that they did not give him an outright ejection, then the public as a whole should not label him a thug quite yet. After all, everyone saw how that one ended with Richard Sherman, which is to say those quick to lash the cornerback were quickly proven to be fools.
With due time it can be assured that the facts will come out with what was said to Smart, and that he will undoubtedly become a lottery pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, if he comes out as is expected. This is largely because his mix of basketball skill and genuine character has always been regarded as a plus, and will continue to check out as this the rest of the current season and during interviews prior to the draft.
Throughout the 2013-14 season, Smart has been spectacular on the court and actually had a good game statistically on Saturday night against Texas Tech, despite losing the game the guard compiled 22 points, four rebounds and two assists. For the whole of the season, he has averaged 17.3 points per, 5.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.4 steals per game, which has surely impressed scouts, even if Oklahoma State has struggled as a team.
As a guy that can play as either a point or shooting guard, loves to get the ball to the rim, and also competes incredibly hard on defense, there is little doubting that NBA scouts will be salivating over Smart when he gets to the draft. Furthermore, as a guy that has always been called respectful and courteous of others throughout life, it is clear that this shoving incident will ultimately go down as one bad decision in college, and won’t even be a talking point at the 2014 NBA Draft.