Celtics

Marcus Smart reportedly missed team flight, leading to preseason game suspension

"He's remorseful, and we hold Marcus to a high standard."

Marcus Smart suspension
Marcus Smart reportedly missed a team flight, leading to his suspension. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Celtics guard Marcus Smart missed a team flight to Orlando, which was the impetus for his one-game suspension according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Smart was not active against the Magic as most of the Celtics’ rotation rested, but Ime Udoka — who declined to offer further details on Smart’s suspension — said the veteran guard broke one of the rules he implemented prior to the season.

“It’s internal. We’ve handled it,” Udoka said. “He’s remorseful, and we hold Marcus to a high standard. We’ve made it clear from Day 1 so he’ll obviously be out tomorrow night. He’s with us here on the trip. Just look forward to moving on from this, growing, and obviously abiding by the team rules and principles.

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“Marcus is one of our leaders that we expect a lot from, he understands that. He’s remorseful and we’ll move on from there.”

Smart declined to offer details as well when asked by reporters multiple times, saying only that the issue was between himself and the Celtics and that the two parties handled it in-house.

“I’ve already answered that. Next question,” Smart said when a reporter asked about his conversation with Udoka.

Smart did say it would be frustrating not to play in the team’s final preseason game — a tune-up for an Opening Night showdown against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

“It is what it is,” Smart said. “Like I said, we’ll handle that in house, and it’s over and done with and I’m looking forward to coming back to MSG and playing, so we’ll see.”

Udoka noted that Payton Pritchard — who broke his nose against the Magic — will also miss Friday’s game against the Heat, further diminishing an opportunity to build chemistry and cohesion. The Celtics will also be without Al Horford and Jaylen Brown, who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week.

“We won’t get to see certain lineups that we obviously wanted to see,” Udoka said. “But we have to move along. We’ve done that with Al and Jaylen out as well. So we just had a nice practice, added some new things for tomorrow and the week going forward and we’ll keep it moving, guys will have the opportunity. And then Marcus and others will catch up when they come back in the next week or so.”

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