In case you were busy or missed last Saturday’s game between Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, there is a chilling video where star college player Marcus Smart pushes a fan in the stands after what he felt was verbal abuse, or verbal assault. Speculations over whether it was a racial comment or not have not been confirmed, but regardless of what was said, Marcus Smart is suspended for three games and will have to watch his team from the sidelines as they are in desperate need of some wins to maintain a spot in the tournament.
But before we talk about Marcus Smart and his punishment, lets focus on the fan first. Jeff Orr, who has been a loyal fan to the Texas Tech school for quite some time, has a history of tantalizing and provoking these college players when they are playing at the Texas Tech arena. Now granted fans will be fans and you will have some who will say things to get into the players heads, there is footage of Orr doing some pretty outrageous acts, some of which I might say is over the top. And again, fans will say whatever they feel entitled to say and there is not much players can do about it, but I would like make a clear point of how Orr is wrong. This is college. This is not the NBA. Marcus Smart is still a kid, he is still in his teens. And even in the NBA this behavior should not be tolerated. I don’t believe they should ban Orr from the games, especially if he is paying for his tickets, but his seating should be limited. His behavior is just unacceptable. And in my opinion, these kids or college players are under more pressure than the professionals. These players are not paid, they have grades to worry about; attendance and dealing with social issues with friends; handling cameras and the media being in their face; there are a lot of factors that these kids deal with. Jeff Orr has to take some blame here, and it would be wrong to point all of the fingers at Marcus Smart
Now back to Smart. He was wrong because he let his emotions get the best of him, and should have never put hands on the fan. This will be a huge learning experience for Smart, and an opportunity to show how can grow from his mistake. This was an embarrassing moment for him. It has hard to imagine yourself as a 19 year old who is expected to be a top draft pick and make such a silly and rash decision on national T.V where millions of people are watching. And to add to Marcus Smart, the USA team has had wonderful things to say about Smart when it came to his work ethic, character, and leadership, and I hope that this event does not change any views on who he is. I would be worried about his character if he repeats this behavior or begin to disrespect authority or the coaching staff, but I believe he will do fine. He still has plenty of learning to do and I wish this young man the best.
We will see what comes of this event. Maybe this will be a chance for Smart to make a comeback for his team and maybe even win the entire tournament next month. It would definitely be a story for the ages.
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