Should Marcus Smart miss time for his actions at Texas Tech?

Published: Feb 09, 2014 12:10pm EST
By Jeff Kryglik, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Feb 09, 2014 @ 02:32pm EST

 

Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart is nothing short of a perennial star at this stage of his basketball career, but the 19-year-old made a sophomoric error in judgment when he shoved a fan in the stands in a 65-61 loss to Texas Tech Saturday night.

Smart has been seen on televisions across the country on a night-to-night basis given his display of skills in leading his Cowboys to a Top 25 ranking. However, last Saturday's confrontation with an older fan may cause some to put the rising talent in a different light.

The sophomore guard attempted to block a dunk by Texas Tech forward Jaye Crockett, but failed in doing so as he stumbled into the stands during the final seconds of play. Smart then exchanged words with what appeared to be a middle-aged fan in the stands and subsequently shoved the fan with both of his hands before walking away and pointing in the direction of the individual. Smart was hit with a technical foul, but wasn't ejected as he was sent to the bench while the final seconds ticked off the clock. 

So who is this fan?

ESPN.com reports say Jeff Orr is a long-time fan and attendee of Texas Tech basketball games and school officials were surprised as to how the incident went down. Smart alleges a racial slur was said, but Texas Tech's athletic department says they have spoken with Orr and is uncertain as to whether or not they will issue a statement regarding the issue.

Cowboys head coach Travis Ford didn't want to discuss the issue following the game, but someone has to pull the rabbit out of the hat in this situation, right?

Enter John Lucas III.

A former Oklahoma State guard who recognized Orr from the video. He took to Twitter in reaction to the situation that transpired with the following:

"(1/2)@Luke1luk: I just saw the video that same fan was at the games talking crazy even when I was in school I don't forget a face he says a lot of crazy ish"

"(2/2)@Luke1luk: Out of his mouth when u are in the game. And he is a grown man talking to kids the way he does"

Is it possible that there is something the rest of the country doesn't know about this man that visiting basketball players do?

As of right now, the Big 12 is looking into the situation and is trying to determine as to whether or not they will suspend Smart for the altercation. Conference officials said the guard couldn't be ejected due to the incident with Orr as the referees' hands were tied as that type of play is out of their jurisdiction and the correct call was made.

If a player who was last a member of the Cowboys almost ten years ago recognized this fan for egregious behavior, who is the most believable party in this situation?

Smart is a 19-year-old kid who will turn 20 in March and is on track to being a top 10 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft if he declares. Players get caught up in the heat of the moment sometimes... just ask Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks. 

Anytime a player, especially in basketball, goes into the stands, there's a lot of uncertainty and gray area presented. It's a scary situation when large human beings like these athletes are being flung or go into the stadium seating as they can do some serious damage in a high-intensity collision.

But this wasn't a collision. He was tripped up. Missed a block attempt. Got into it with a raucous fan. And was teed up.

The best thing to do, and the professional thing to do, is walk away from the situation as that will let the crowd know that even though their team got the best of the opponent on the scoreboard, the fans' words don't affect anyone. That isn't what happened and now people may view Smart in a different way. Or maybe they'll think he's just immature.

Was Smart right in touching Orr?

No.

Did he have a good reason too? 

Those good at lip-reading would be able to make the best call.


 

Comments (4)



  • shaunmerritt   Feb 10, 2014 @ 05:54PM
    it doesn't matter what the fan said. it could be racial and completely vulgar, but it is not enough to warrant a player jumping into the stands and shoving a fan like that. its just not... plain and simple. the fan did not hit Smart, touch Smart, nor get in Smart's face. If words are going to make Smart go after fans... he has another thing coming when he hits the NBA. -

  • Lance Rinker   Feb 9, 2014 @ 04:25PM
    It'd be a nice, strong message if Tech banned that fan from attending games. The fact that an older player recognized this fan as being a racist douche is very telling. -

  • Michael Owen   Feb 9, 2014 @ 03:10PM
    "The best thing to do, and the professional thing to do, is walk away from the situation as that will let the crowd know that even though their team got the best of the opponent on the scoreboard, the fans' words don't affect anyone."

    That's how this douche has gotten away with it for so many years -

  • Michael Owen   Feb 9, 2014 @ 03:08PM
    yeah, but how messed up is it (and how does Tech feel proclaiming) that he's their #1 fan?!?!? -

Jeff Kryglik
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