Smart, C's Continue Dual-Pursuit of Justice and Championship Inside Bubble

BOSTON - Marcus Smart on Tuesday continued his trend of opening up his media availability by calling for justice for Breonna Taylor and by encouraging the public – especially the African American community – to get out and vote.

“Let’s make a change,” he said.

Smart, his teammates and the NBA in general are not allowing their voices to be silenced in their fight for equality and social justice. They are soliciting advice on these topics from some of the most important figures in the world, including former First Lady Michelle Obama, who spoke to Smart and other NBA players during a virtual call Sunday.

“It was a great call,” Smart said. “To have somebody like Michelle Obama take her time to show up and pretty much give us courage and to educate us even more and to help us with what we’ve got going on – guys are really taking it seriously.”

The intention of calls with the likes of Obama, Breonna Taylor’s mother and other important figures is to educate players on how they can impact the pursuit of equality and social justice.

Speaking on the topic of the calls, Smart said, “Just overall, an amount of people are really just dedicated to help us keep our voice alive and find the right points to get across to what we want to be heard and want to be done, and that’s justice.”

Smart also took a moment to clarify that the players and the league are not acting out of lip service with regard to these critical subjects; they are truly striving to make a difference in the world.

“You’ve got to tip your hat off to everybody (for) really, really working as hard as they can to make their voices be heard,” said Smart. “That’s all we’re trying to do, is make our voices be heard, and just get justice for the right things.”

While the players continue to fight for justice, they are also fighting for something else while living inside the NBA bubble: a world championship. Balancing those two pursuits is certainly a challenge, but one of which Smart and the Celtics are capable of handling.

“We’re professionals. With that, [there] comes a lot of responsibility, so you’ve got to be able to multi-task,” Smart relayed. “We’ve got a lot of distractions going on around us. We’ve still got some things that we’re fighting for. But at the same time, we’re still here to play and here to win a championship.”

He continued, “I think for us, as a young team, and with an experienced coach like Brad (Stevens) and some experienced players, it makes it easy for us to compartmentalize and stay focused on being a professional.”

Compartmentalizing might be simple for the Celtics, but there’s nothing easy about fighting for equality and justice, or about chasing an NBA title. Now three weeks into its stay in Florida, Boston is doing everything it can to balance its dual pursuit.

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