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Smart Brings Important Message, And Fierce Defense, To His Basketball Camp

BOSTON (CBS) -- Whether he's on the court defending an All Pro, or challenging a youngster to a fun game of one-on-one, Marcus Smart is one intense dude.

Look no further than his summer basketball camp at Brandeis on Tuesday. One lucky kid got to take on Smart, and got a first-hand look at the suffocating defense the rest of the NBA has seen from the Celtics guard in his two seasons in the league.

Smart's swagger was on full display too. After stealing the ball and draining a three over Newton's Chris Matthews, Smart whooped it up a bit as the hundreds of kids attending the camp joined in the celebration.

That's Marcus Smart in a nutshell. He simply hates to lose, which has been part of his DNA since anyone can remember. It was clear during his high school days, when coach Kenny Boren had the tough task of honing in Smart's anger and turning it into that intensity he displays on the floor on for Boston on a nightly basis.

"He hates to lose. The guy cannot stand losing," Boren told WBZ-TV's Dan Roche at Tuesday's camp. "Combine that with the heart he has, and you have Marcus Smart."

"As a kid, I had a lot of anger, especially when my brother passed," Smart said of his older brother Todd, who lost his battle with cancer in 2004. "Being the youngest of four boys was [part of it]. When my brother passed, that kind of fueled the fire and kept me going."

Fueling the fire inside was a big part of Smart's message for all the kids at Tuesday's camp, one of many he'll be hosting this summer. He told them all to stay hungry, and never be satisfied.

That mantra will follow Smart and the entire Celtics roster into the 2016-17 season, as they look to improve on their 48-win campaign last year and make it out of the first round of the playoffs.

"We expect that next step as a team. Everybody is working on their game, everybody is ready, " Smart told reporters. "We text each other every day and everybody is just excited. You can see it, hear it in the voices when we talk to each other. We can't wait to get back and just start working out with each other and get that connection again."

That next step is the goal no matter what president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is able to pull off this summer.

Of course, bringing in a superstar like Kevin Durant would be welcome addition.

"Oh, no doubt. I think any team would love to see Durant and those type of caliber players on their team," Smart said. "But we're not the ones that make that call, so we just kind of sit back and wait. And whatever decisions that the front office makes, we're ready to run with it."

Smart knows landing Durant would be something special for Boston. And like C's point guard Isaiah Thomas, who is putting on a full-court press on social media to lure the Oklahoma City star to Boston, Smart would like to join in.

"If I get his number," Smart said with a laugh.

 

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