Marcus Smart suspended by Celtics for missing team flight

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 4: Head Coach Ime Udoka of the Boston Celtics talks with Marcus Smart #36 during the game against the Orlando Magic on October 4, 2021 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Boston Celtics defensive leader Marcus Smart is not going to be playing Friday night. The Celtics suspended the veteran guard for one game, and he will miss the preseason finale against the Miami Heat. It was initially unclear why Smart received the punishment. However, a media release from Adrian Wojnarowski clarified that Smart had missed the team’s flight to Orlando on Wednesday.

New Boston Celtics Head Coach Ime Udoka addressed the media earlier this morning. There, he broke the news that Smart was going to miss their upcoming contest. He also stated that they would keep the matter strictly internal, yet the reasoning still leaked beyond Udoka’s power.

“It’s internal. We’ve handled it. He’s remorseful. We hold Marcus to a high standard. Marcus is one of our leaders that we expect a lot from. He understands that. He’s remorseful. Move on from there.”

Ime Udoka

The injury report from the Wednesday matchup between the Celtics and the Orlando Magic had Marcus Smart listed as out. However, the reasoning given on the form was that Smart would take the game off for rest purposes, and he had no injury designation. Though that may have been the plan before Smart’s missed plane fiasco, it is not certain.

Marcus Smart hasn’t made a headline in this fashion before, and it likely should be a one-off mistake. Udoka’s praise for Smart after the incident gives hope that this is the case. Smart was not suspended for any regular-season action and should be ready to go for tip-off on opening night.

Two months ago, Smart signed a four-year $77 million contract extension with the Celtics over the offseason. He’s an energizing guard that does it on both ends of the floor. He will be an integral part of the Celtics and their success for as long as he is on the team in the future.

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