In a conference call with reporters on Friday, Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens said Marcus Smart – who was diagnosed with coronavirus shortly after the NBA season was suspended – is recovering well and is in “great spirits.”

“Joking as always,” Stevens said. “We had a Zoom conference with the team, told the team we were going to give them their own space to hang out and have fun. And he told us to get off. So he’s great.”

After news broke that a member of the Celtics roster had tested positive for COVID-19, Smart took to Twitter announcing himself as the player.

“I can’t stress enough practicing social distancing, and really keeping yourself away from a large group of people, and just really washing your hands and help protect others by helping protect yourself,” Smart said in the video.

Stevens said he was proud of Smart for taking on the responsibility of helping keep the public informed.

“I’m proud of how he kind of took the initiative to tell people that he had it and that he felt good and that he got online and just continued to ask people to practice social distancing and self-isolation right now,” Stevens said. “It’s a really unique, unsettling time for everyone.”


Stevens was asked if Smart’s diagnosis drove home the severity of the situation for himself and for the team.

“I think the seriousness was being driven home before we even shut down games,” Stevens said. “I think when people started talking about the media restrictions in the locker room and how close we could be when interviewing – we were all flying to Milwaukee that Wednesday after we played Indiana thinking we would probably play the Milwaukee game with no fans. But obviously that all changed during the Oklahoma City game. I think, in a unique way, that was a starting point for the whole country in recognizing that.”

Stevens also noted how the Celtics – and the NBA at large – is lucky, compared to essential personnel working during the crisis.

“My heart goes out to all the people (impacted by this),” Stevens said. “We’re calling sitting at home an inconvenience. What a joke. There are so many people that are working so hard every day to try to help our communities and help the sick and putting their own selves at risk. And I think any time you turn on the TV, it hits home even more.”

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