Marcus Smart has had a busier summer than most 20 year-olds. Aside from NBA Summer League and the rookie photo shoot, this year’s No. 6 pick has already had the chance to compete against some of the best players in the NBA as a member of the Team USA Select Team.
I had the chance to see him in action at Team USA’s mini-camp on the campus of UNLV and Smart looked good, drawing rave reviews from those in attendance. I caught up with Smart after practice to talk about being on the Team USA Select Team and working on his jumper, while also letting him know where he can find the best cannoli in Beantown.
(Q&A was conducted on Day Two of Team USA Mini-Camp)
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Dime: What was it like being one of the two rookies at Team USA training camp and have you gotten used to the new basketball?
Marcus Smart: Yeah I have. I have gotten used to it. It’s kind of hard (to adjust) when you go back home in the summer and you play with a different ball. When you come back you’re kind of like ‘whoa.’ But this is a great experience for me. This is my second year with the select team. I’m enjoying it. I love it. I get to learn from some top notch guys so me and Doug [McDermott] have a little edge over some of the rookies.
Dime: How confident do you feel about going into TD Garden next year being able to contribute right away?
MS: I feel very confident about it. We’re a young team and we have some new additions to the team. We’re just ready – we’re hungry. We’re going to go in and work in this offseason and get ready.
Dime: Have you actually had a chance to sit down and find a place to live in Waltham or Boston yet?
MS: I will after I finish the Rookie Transitional Program, so I’ll be up there looking for a spot.
Dime: You looked pretty comfortable out there today and I even saw you hit three consecutive three-pointers. How comfortable are you playing with these guys?
MS: I’m very comfortable. I’m still getting comfortable. Me and Doug were out here last year so I got a little taste of it. Now with Summer League, I got a little bit more of a taste of adjusting to the three point line and the (NBA) basketballs and now I’m just out here playing.
Dime: How do you like the new kicks (Adidas Boost)?
MS: Yeah the Adidas Boost? They’re incredible man. They’re very comfortable. And it’s hard especially for an athlete – we’re always on our feet. It’s hard to find something that’s comfortable but light at the same time that we can mobilize with and with these Boosts, it’s what they do.
Dime: And back to your shooting. Is that something that you’ve approached this summer as one of the things you really wanted to improve on?
MS: Definitely. You know, I’ve been in the gym working and I think it’s showing out here. I’m trying to become more consistent and become a respected shooter where guards have to respect me and have to go over the screens instead of under.
Dime: What has been your favorite moment of Team USA minicamp so far?
MS: Just these scrimmages, man. It’s been fun going up against these guys. You learn a lot and you learn hands on (in these situations), so that’s always a good thing.
Dime: Lastly, during your short stay in Boston, what has the thing that has stuck out to you the most?
MS: I can’t really say. I haven’t been there that long man. When I was there, I was just in the gym and then back to the hotel. That was it.
Dime: Well make sure you hit up Mike’s Pastry in the North End.
MS: Mike’s Pastry? Okay, I got you.
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