Marcus Smart is reportedly remorseful and crushed over his actions Saturday night in Lubbock, Texas.
Smart of course set the college basketball world ablaze last night when he shoved famed Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr for allegedly calling him a nigger.
After the game, Smart was “down and remorseful,” the team official told ESPN, claiming that the sophomore guard “got caught up in the moment.”
The fan who Smart shoved, Jeff Orr, is an air traffic controller in Waco, Texas, who travels thousands of miles each year to attend Texas Tech basketball games, according to athletic department spokesman Blayne Beal.
Beal told ESPN that high-ranking officials at Tech already have spoken with Orr.
The underlying questions now will be in regards to Smart’s draft status and whether or not the shove will negatively affect how scouts and execs see him now.
According to ESPN, scouts and GM’s alike don’t believe Smart will be affected by the shove on the next level.
But Saturday’s incident has drawn mixed reaction from NBA executives. One current NBA general manager told ESPN that he does not think Smart’s draft stock has slipped as a result of the “overblown” incident, saying that Smart is “too good a kid.”
But another current NBA GM told ESPN that he thinks the situation will negatively impact Smart’s draft stock.
“When you are loved more for your intangibles than your tangibles to begin with, how can it not?” the general manager told ESPN. “I felt sick for the kid, truly saddened by it.”
A former NBA general manager who is currently a scout said Saturday’s incident shouldn’t affect Smart’s draft status, should he declare for the NBA draft, since he will have time to talk about it during the interview process this spring. The former GM said Smart’s character hadn’t been called into question in the past.
Smart, who decided to return to Stillwater for his sophomore season despite being considered a lock as a high-lottery pick in the 2013 NBA draft, expressed frustration to ESPN this past week about his growing reputation as a flopper and the inconsistency with officiating.
It’s indeed a dicey situation.
No Marcus Smart shouldn’t have put his hands on a fan. But the fan in question should have the decency not to call an opposing player a nigger or any other racial slur when Texas Tech’s head coach and most of their players are black as well.