In a recent ‘Mailbag’ episode of the Celtics Center podcast, the thought of both Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker’s duo-leadership qualities was brought to attention. The Boston Celtics teammates were named team captains of Team USA.
Marcus Smart is going into his 6th season with the Boston Celtics, making him the longest tenured player in the organization. Smart has been part of many different and talented teams. Some former teammates along the way include: Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas, Evan Turner, and Al Horford. Now Smart has another new veteran teammate to play with this season in Kemba Walker.
Smart and Kemba are both hard-nosed determined players, who hold great leadership qualities. Proving to be true, Greg Popovich (coach of the San Antonio Spurs & Team USA) made both Smart and Walker team captains for Team USA.
Marcus Smart has been the “un-titled” leader for the Boston Celtics for some time now. I think in Smart’s 3rd season with the Celtics in ’16-’17, is when he really started taking over as the leader of the team. He’s the best communicator and defender on the court and maybe even in the NBA.
I believe Smart being named captain of the Celtics is something that is important to him, and something that he has wanted for a long time. Smart was named a captain for Team USA before he earning the title from his own team. This is what Smart had to say about being named captain:
“Being seen as a leader here is big. I think I’ve been a leader for a while, but this just keeps growing my skills as a leader and gives me more confidence. It’s good for me.”
Dating back to his days at UCONN, we’ve seen what Kemba can do as the leader of the team. Even throughout his career with Charlotte, Kemba had to be the leader of those teams. Kemba said this in a recent interview:
“I take pride in being a leader and guys looking to me and I’m here to set the tempo and bring my experience and energy.” Per the Associated Press
Brad Stevens doesn’t like the idea of having “captains” on his teams. Stevens has said that he wants everyone to feel like they “own a part of the team’s fate”. Coach Stevens wants his players, no matter what stage in their career, to be willing to speak up.
An excellent quote from Brad Stevens on naming captains. pic.twitter.com/VhcEuSpkOC
— Basketball Coaching Tools (@BBallTools) October 17, 2017
There’s no questioning the leadership qualities of the players on this Celtics team. I think for the most part, everyone has bought into the Brad Stevens system and understands their role on the team. Having both Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker on the same team can only help the C’s thrive, especially on the floor.
Kemba will lead the starting unit, while Smart will control the second. Similar to Smart, Walker has been known to be a communicator on the court, which will help the Tatum and Brown throughout the course of a game.
Brad’s system with no captains seems to be working great, but all of Celtics Nation knows who the true leader of the team really is. So, why not just put a title on it and make Marcus Smart the captain of the Boston Celtics? I don’t think they’ll be any complaints from anybody.
Would like to give a shout out to Paul Thibault V for bringing this up last week.
How great of a leadership duo can Smart and Kemba be
— Paul Thibault V (@Paullyt5) August 25, 2019
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