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Celtics Owner Wyc Grousbeck Discusses NBA's Return, Marcus Smart's Bout With Coronavirus

BOSTON (CBS) -- Marcus Smart was the lone member of the Boston Celtics to come down with coronavirus and one of the 10 players in the NBA to contract the virus. Smart has since recovered and has been a big advocate for social distancing amid the pandemic.

Smart's positive test came shortly after Boston had played the Utah Jazz, and a short time after Jazz center Rudy Gobert was announced as the first player in the NBA to get the virus -- prompting the league to put the 2020 season on hold.

It was a worrisome time for the Celtics, who were put into self-quarantine when they arrived back to Boston from their trip to Milwaukee, but they had all the confidence in the world that Smart would beat COVID-19. He is, after all, Marcus Smart, Boston's defensive bulldog who doesn't back down from anything.

"Marcus is just a great guy with a huge heart. I think COVID took a look at him and said 'to heck with it,'" Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck joked during an interview with WBZ-TV's Dan Roche. "He's so strong. Not to make a joke of it, but we're glad he's back and he's fine. Everyone is working out and shooting baskets and hopefully we can unlock basketball soon enough."

Grousbeck is confident that the NBA will return at some point, but says it will only happen when it's safe for all the players involved.

"We'll see another season for sure, you can count on that. We're trying, and talking in private among the league. The general mood I have is optimistic," he said. "We have to be focused, we have to be safe. But as the country unlocks, I think pro sports will follow shortly after that."

Grousbeck said that having the NBA and other sports back will be a huge injection of positivity as the world tries to work through the pandemic.

"I was talking to Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins people -- we're all sticking together and can't wait to be back," he said. "It's a big part of our emotional recovery from this terrible disease."

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