Danny Ainge can never let Marcus Smart go

My readers know this very well - I am a dyed-in-the-wool Marcus Smart fan. Yes, I know. I was never a fan of his ill-advised shot attempts or his often unmanageable temper flare ups. But most of that is in the past. His shooting accuracy was significantly up last season, and for the most part, he listened to his late mom's declaration to "Calm your ass down!"



As Celtics fans, we never questioned Smart's heart. He put everything into every play. He never took a play off, and we knew if he was in the game, his team had a chance to win. He guards the little point guards, the long athletes and the big-brute centers. Makes no difference. He takes them all on.

The "soul" part was another matter. There was some question about that. No longer. I have watched the growth of Marcus as a person, and I love what I see. He is now direct, as he always has been. But there is a calmness and courtesy about him now. I almost hate to add "serenity" as a label for Smart, but that seems the case.

Is he truly the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics. He definitely is. In the video above, Marcus says you can't live without a heart beat, and the Celtics can't live without Marcus. Danny Ainge has loved this guy from the start and can't ever let him go. We will still see a few errant shots from Marcus - and some temper flare-ups. But heart and soul of the team he is, and look for him to be a leader this season, both on and off the court.

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