One of the biggest names in college basketball had a mid-game meltdown on Feb. 8 when he got physical with an opposing fan during his team’s loss to Texas Tech. Watch the video and tell us what you think — was he provoked?
Before Feb. 8, Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart was best known for being a potential NBA lottery pick in this year’s upcoming draft. But now he’ll be known as the basketball player who lost his cool and violently shoved a fan from an opposing team.
Marcus Smart Pushes Texas Tech Fan
After trying to block a Texas Tech shot with 6.2 seconds left in a game that Oklahoma State was losing, Marcus flew wildly into the front row of the crowd. As Marcus was being helped up, he appeared to exchange words with a fan who was wearing a Texas Tech shirt. After a quick back-and-forth, Marcus then lunged at the man and aggressively pushed him before heading back onto the court.
Marcus was assessed a technical foul, but he was not thrown out of the game.
The man who he pushed is Jeff Orr, according to ESPN, an air traffic controller from Waco, Tex. who travels thousands of miles each year to attend Texas Tech games. “We have never had an issue with [Orr] crossing the line in the past,” Texas Tech spokesperson Blayne Beal said after the game.
But reportedly according to Marcus, he was provoked by the avid Texas Tech fan. Marcus, who was reportedly “down and remorseful” following the game, has told coaches that Orr called him a racial slur, ESPN reports. Even still, Marcus has reportedly conceded that he lost his cool and “got caught up in the moment.”
Marcus Smart: Will He Be Punished For In-Game Altercation?
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby will reportedly review the altercation and determine whether Marcus deserves any further punishment. At this point a suspension seems likely for the Oklahoma State guard, though he will have an opportunity to tell his side of the story.
But maybe more important for Marcus, this incident could affect his NBA draft stock. “When you are loved more for your intangibles than your tangibles to begin with, how can it not?” a current NBA general manager told ESPN.
— Andrew Gruttadaro