Celtics’ Jayson Tatum shares undeniable Marcus Smart admission after guard’s TD Garden return

Jayson Tatum addressed Marcus Smart’s return to the TD Garden after the Celtics’ victory over the Grizzlies.

Jayson Tatum smiling (in a Celtics jersey) next to a hyped Marcus Smart (in a Grizzlies jersey) on a TD Garden background.

The Boston Celtics crushed the undermanned Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday afternoon, blowing them out 131-91. But, the 40-point win at TD Garden was not the primary concern for a lot of Celtics fans.

Instead, they were focused on giving former Celtic guard Marcus Smart the best homecoming possible. The 2022 Defensive Player of the Year spent his first nine seasons in Boston before getting traded to Memphis last summer.

The shocking deal was a major move from Boston’s front office and it’s seemed to work so far, as the Celtics are 38-12 and in first place in the Eastern Conference.

Celtics star Jayson Tatum, who played alongside Smart for six seasons, was delighted to witness the Boston faithful cheer on Smart during his return, per CelticsBlog reporter Jack Simone.

“Marcus Smart, he was the fan favorite. And everybody knew that. The way he played. He wore his heart on his sleeve …

We have some very smart fans. And they saw that,” Tatum said. “They appreciated that. It was really cool to see. I’m surprised he didn’t cry because that was special.”

Jayson Tatum led Celtics to victory over Grizzlies

While Tatum might have been excited to see Smart back in Beantown, he showed the short-handed Grizzlies no mercy. He posted an impressive 34 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in 31 minutes.

This was Smart’s first time back in Boston as part of another team, but he hasn’t actually played against the C’s yet.

When Boston beat Memphis 102-100 in November, Smart was out with a left foot sprain. On Sunday, he had to sit due to a right finger injury that’ll sideline him for at least two more weeks.

Unless Smart is moved before the trade deadline on February 8th, he probably won’t meet his former team until next season. The Grizzlies have been destroyed by injuries and at 18-32 overall, are well out of the playoff picture.

Regardless of when the C’s and Smart reunite next, there’s no doubt that the Celtics fans in attendance will show him the love he deserves.

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