Tuesday, June 2, 2020

TEAM USA Coach Gregg Popovich names Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart & Donovan Mitchell as Tri-Captains.

The Boston Celtics Marcus Smart may not have played a game for Team USA, but he has now been named as a tri-captain along with Boston Teammate, Kemba Walker, and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell.

There is no surprise with Kemba in this leadership role. He is a star, an NBA veteran, and a proven leader (per NBC Sports Boston”s A. Sherrod Blakely):

“We have a bunch of guys who don’t mind being the underdogs,” Walker told reporters. “We are hungry, and we are going to go out there to try and win a gold medal…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.”

Mitchell is no major surprise. He seems to have it all – talent, maturity, team play. Marcus Smart is the shocker. I have been pushing for his candidacy for Celtics captain for some time now. This certainly seems to show Smart a lock for the final roster and that he will take the court as soon as possible. It is also a positive sign that one of the NBA’s greatest coaches, Gregg Popovich, sees the leadership qualities in Smart. It may be time for Celtics Coach, Brad Stevens, to see the same potential and appoint Marcus as team captain.

Despite much speculation to the contrary, many analysts have viewed Smart’s lack of floor time as a sign that he will be cut. That seems unlikely. The final casualty may be center Miles Plumlee. In three exhibition games, he has scored a total of two points on 1-of-3 shooting and handed out two assists. In last night’s 102-86 win over Australia, Plumlee looked slow and out-matched while on the court for Team USA. Congrats to the three tri-captains for USA Basketball.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and @_Celtics_Center

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