Marcus’ reputation smarts after altercation with fan… but should it?


You’re going to hear that word a lot over the next few days, just like you tirelessly heard words like ‘thug,’ ‘legacy’ and ‘dynasty’ as this NFL season came to a close.


How do we define it and what does it even mean?

A basketball player shoves a fan.  He was wrong for doing so, right?  Welcome to the front row, Jeffery Orr.  Your fifteen minutes of fame have just begun.

Marcus Smart shoves Jeff Orr


Saturday night, Marcus Smart and Oklahoma State traveled to Lubbock to play Texas Tech.  The ranked Cowboys were losing to the unranked Red Raiders when Smart fouled an opposing player on a fast break in the final seconds of the game.  Smart ended up in the stands.

It was those final seconds, from when the whistle was blown to when Jeffrey Orr got smarted, that Marcus would probably like to have back.

Or would he?

Only Smart, the fan and those in the near vicinity (maybe) know what was said that prompted Marcus Smart to put his hands on Orr and create a moment in college basketball like we’ve never seen.

Social media was immediately ablaze with Ron Artest-Marcus Smart comparisons.  Heck, Artest even offered the kid some of advice, words of wisdom from the NBA’s most famous stands-dweller.

Smart was immediately villainized like Richard Sherman after an Erin Andrews interview.  It would take more than just a fluffy ESPN piece to repair his image.  That or an Orr apology.

Richard Sherman Erin Andrews

After all, it doesn’t matter what was said to warrant the shove, right?

Think again.

By some reports, Orr may have dropped an N-Bomb and said Go Back to Africa.  Is that enough to justify a shove?  And on a side note, when are racists going to come up with some new material?  I’m pretty sure Marcus Smart has never been to Africa.

By no means am I defending putting your hands on someone.  Smart may very well have been in the wrong but if someone drops a racial slur towards me, or if I were with any of my African-American friends and someone randomly dropped an N-bomb at them, let’s just say it’d be on… regardless of our NBA draft status.


When times like these arise, those who report such incidents generally show none hence the multitude of accounts blasting Smart without doing their due diligence.  Smart was vilified, another raging, reactionary athlete who got caught up in the moment.

But what was actually said?

Marcus Smart kneels

We are all going to formulate our opinions of what happened, however, a few things are for certain.

Spending thousands of dollars on season tickets doesn’t give us the right to say whatever we feel.  Never mind mention the hypocrisy of the racist fan who watches a sport that is played predominantly by black folks.

Marcus Smart may or may not leave college after this year.  He IS NBA-ready, a certain top-five pick.  At least he was before Saturday night.

This incident may or may not change that.

If I’m an NBA coach or GM, I would look long and hard at the character of an individual I’m about to invest my future in.  To me, character means standing up for what you believe in.

Marcus Smart did that Saturday night.

If I see Smart as a man who stands up for himself, he’d be exactly the kind of guy I’d want going to battle with me.

Because of this incident, those who run basketball programs will now take a closer look at who they recruit, as they should.  They should also take a harder look at who buys their season tickets.

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23 Replies to “Marcus’ reputation smarts after altercation with fan… but should it?”

  1. Like I said , Deion Sanders conducts an interview for the NFL Network that aired live during which Marshawn Lynch lets loose with several words of profanity , possibly out of boredom because of the inane way the interview was being conducted by Sanders. Absolutely no outrage over that but everyone wants to harangue Richard Sherman . As for Erin Andrews, did she not parlay her additional fifteen minutes of fame to get a protracted contract extension with Fox ? It’s amazing what can happen when you get caught on camera half naked by a ” perv “ .

    Simply a sign of immaturity on the part of the player . My question , where the hell were the coaching staff at the time ? Smart should consider himself lucky the person he accosted wasn’t a former Marine or military member with specialized skills or he’d have ended up with his a#s being beaten the ##it out of in the stands . I’d have loved him to try that with me !

  2. Al…

    A former marine or military member wouldn’t have gone all Jeffery Orr and called Marcus Smart whatever he called him. Pretty sure he would have composed himself a little classier.

  3. I think all African American college athletes should take a long look at the white universities they are attending and ask themselves…….is it worth it?

    If they are honest with themselves, they will most certainly know the answer…..

  4. Green…

    Years ago, my old boss would suggest that all the black college football players at Ole Miss should sit down in protest and not play the game until the university no longer hang the rebel flag.

    We’re still waiting for that to happen.

  5. Not necessarily so Chris ,

    I have seen members of your US military being spat on by the public and to me it shows a lack of respect for these men and women who have served this country proudly . Look at the number of homeless veterans in the Tampa bay area alone and there’s not much being done for them , by way of the local community much any type of outreach from the VA facility there .

    Orr may well be showing his ignorance but it would have been best if the security personnel had been made aware of his actions rather than another ugly confrontation taking place .

    What right has Smart to be up in the stands to begin with ? Is he not a member of the team representing his school ? Or is he simply trying to be a smart @ss ? If he reportedly heard those comments being made then he should have made his coach aware of the matter and the court-side officials and the referee. Wast that even done ?

    The NFL could have its first openly gay player should Michael Sam of the Missouri Tigers is drafted in this upcoming NFL Draft ? All of the machismo that now exists in the league but it is still not ready to accept a player within the sport that is openly gay . It appears to be the same within the NBA as well , even in the aftermath of Jason Collins “coming out ” and yet as a free agent he could still not find himself on a roster anywhere in the NBA , but Greg Oden can ?

  6. I tend to look at the bigger picture and saw Smart act not terribly smart for a couple of weeks prior to the push off in the stands. He was moping, complaining about calls, kicking chairs, etc. I could write off the shove if he didn’t look like he lost it a bit this season when things got tough. Well, they’ll be tougher from here on so we will all get to see if he has the ability to focus and grind. As physically gifted as he is, he will need to prove he can block out the noise and manage pressure better. It is what he does from this point forward that should be the deciding factor what kind of pro he’ll be.

  7. Smart didn’t go into the stands to shove Orr, Al. He was already in the stands after his momentum carried him there from that fateful play. Do you think this causes NBA GMs to think twice before drafting him?

    Good for Sam and his decision to go public. Now we’re about to see what NFL GMs, players and locker rooms are all about.

    I didn’t get to see the Heat-Jazz game but I’m not too concerned about it. Whatever happens, the Heat will end up the two seed in the East and will have to figure out which road game in Indiana they’re going to have to win if they want to repeat.

  8. Well said, Burnsy.

    Again, I didn’t mean for it to sound like I was defending a player going into the stands and putting his hands on someone BUT admission also doesn’t give fans the right to say or do whatever they want.

    There’s an art to heckling and heckling properly. There are also repercussions.

  9. The fan/player war has been going on for ages, it’s part of entertainment. Fans will say anything these days to get under the skin of players. It’s sad, but it’s true. Players have to take control of their emotions no matter the circumstances and be the better person as hard as that might be.

  10. Chris,
    Here’s my take on the recent Sam outage. The locker room is all male macho. Who’s the biggest, fastest, smartest, on the field and with the women. Sam’s a potential problem that most GM’s don’t want. We may be in the 21st century, but the locker rooms are in the 1950’s. If you asked any pro athlete “off the record” his opinion…..I’d wager 80% nay.

  11. Chris,
    The MSmart issue. TTech should contact both Orr and Smart and patch it up. Oh yeah, with plenty of photographer and reporters on hand. Reduce his suspension to 1 or 2 games and move on.
    btw, I’d like to see Jack Nicholson get shoved a little harder. His verbiage isn’t much nicer.

  12. Bets…

    I think there are some locker rooms in the NFL that are better equipped to handle an openly gay players. I’m pretty sure he’d be able to fit right into a Patriots or Seahawks locker room. Raiders not so much.

    Lakers opponents can’t handle the truth, huh? I hadn’t heard that Nicholson is a good trash talker. Interesting.

  13. Al…

    I think the Miami Heat will make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. And if you ask me if they have a legit shot to beat the Pacers, I’d say yes. Are you already counting out the Heat and putting the Pacers in the Finals?

    With regards to the Smart incident, if it created any sort of dialogue, then isn’t that a good thing?

    I obviously can’t get through to you on this whole Stern thing. You obviously think that the league was better off financially thirty years ago than it is now because the 76ers have lost back to back games by forty points. Congratulations, man. You win. David Stern was the worst thing to ever happen to the league. Happy now?

  14. Chris Humpherys

    David Stern has micromanaged just about every part of the NBA , including how he and the owners in conjunction with the NBPA (Players’ Union) came up with the the ” soft salary cap ” , size of rosters (twelve players) and many of the most recent rules changes now instigated within the game . So how the hell, can you suggest that he has had no part in the quality of the play we are now witnessing when his imprints are all over the place concerning the presence of the NBA and the on-court product ?

    It is not a matter of being the worst but the issue is , the NBA as we know it . Is it better off competitively now , when there are no real team rivalries . and where highlight reels and dunks play more a part in the game than what ought to engaging and engrossing the fans , by way of team accomplishments ? You think I am haranguing Stern because he sees the NBA as his personal fiefdom and his creation . Far from it ., he has been good for the NBA , but my issue with him he refuses to also accept the responsibility for the imbalances that now exist from many of the decisions that he has made .

    tophatal ……………..

  15. Okay, now we’re getting somewhere, a little closer to agreement.

    I won’t go so far as to say the quality of play in the league is better. It may be. It may not be. But he’s not coaching the players. If anything, he’s doing a fantastic job if he’s responsible for marketing a league that might NOT be as good as it was. If the talent in the league is better, or worse, I put that on the players.

    The balance of power, or imbalance, can more likely be blamed on shrewder, or less capable, GMs. Why is it that guys like Riley and Bird are constantly putting together championship-caliber teams while other GMs cannot. That’s not Stern’s doing. That’s those guys doing their jobs better than anyone else.

    I’ve made the argument for league contraction for years. There are some bad teams out there BUT they’re not just going to disband franchises for the same reason they don’t get rid of useless bowl games that nobody watches.

  16. The Michael Sam’s issue is going to get nasty in light of the alleged actions of a number of general managers said to have been in contact with each other concerning the impending draft status of the player . So much so , that it is drawing the ire of DeMaurice Smith as there is apparent reluctance by several teams around the league to draft the Mizzou Tigers’ player .

    Smith has called those executives gutless and completely out of touch with reality and the world we now live in. The NFL remains homophobic and is reluctant to change in spite of the utterances from within the league . Not unlike the NBA , who had the Jason Collins issue to deal with and the rallying cry was there in support of the player . Yet he is nowhere to be found on a current NBA roster . This country has in no way advanced as far as it claims to have done on a wide variety of social issues .

    Jasper , Texas , still remains the pulse of the US on race relations as well as homophobia . James Byrd did not die in vain as the #hit-heads within the state , quickly found another victim .

  17. I’ve grown quite tired of arguing David Stern’s impact on the game, Al.

    I’m not looking to change your mind. He clearly did good things for the game and the game is better because of the work he did over the years.

    I find it interesting that you mention nothing of minority ownership and management in the league which is far and away more progressive than any other sport.

  18. Minority ownership (NBA) ? Let me rephrase that Michael Jordan having bough out the stake of Robert L Johnson when he owned the Bobcats as part of a deal engineered by Stern ? What advances has the NBA in terms of its upper tier hierarchy favoring minorities there ? One lone face of ethnicity at present amongst the ranks .

    Vivek Ranadive came in because the league no stand the idiocy the Maloofs and their continued ruination of the Kings

    So at present Chris , there are but two minority owned NBA franchises . A reflection of the league’s makeup , in terms of minorities having a seat at the table ?

    Other than Reggie Fowler with the Vikings . There there is not one African American with a major stake (above 25%) in an NFL franchise .

    The NBA like the NFL , MLB have a strange way of indicating that they are said to have made real social advances . So don’t kid yourself that they happen to be trying to mirror whatever said to be happening in society at all .

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