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Marcus Smart: The gentle side of a ferocious competitor

Marcus Smart's ferocity strikes fear into most of his opponents, but he has a tender side. The same dogged defender that harasses opponents into making mistakes and picks up floor burns diving on the floor for loose balls took the time to comfort my family when we were hosted at TD Garden on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

This all started following the November death of my granddaughter, Courtney, after a 25-year battle with cystic fibrosis. She left behind my great grandson, Carson Thomas Lane, and I made a very simple request to Carson's namesake, Celtics rookie Carsen Edwards. My Twitter followers stepped up immediately with countless retweets and notifications. Edwards responded promptly via Twitter, as did Marcus Smart, who prompted Twitter followers to "send mail that uplifts & showers this kid with love".


Smart's requested "shower" became a hurricane, as thousands of cards and hundreds of gifts arrived from all over the world. One of the first responders to Marcus' plea was a gentleman by the name of Abdul Dremali who invited our family to attend a Celtics game on February 29. Carson, my daughter, Lisa, and I were sitting courtside before the game with Abdul and the Celtics' Eileen O'Malley when Marcus came over and spent some time with us, comforting both Carson and Lisa with gentle words and reassurance.

The night ended with Boston losing to the Houston Rockets, 111-110, but not before Carson was seen on the Jumbotron and Jaylen Brown had tied the game in regulation with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Quite a night. Marcus may be ferocious on the hardwood, but his tender kindness, and that of the Celtics staff, will not be forgotten. Many thanks from a family that badly needed support, and got it from one of the finest sports organizations in the world.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet

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