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Marcus Smart ‘ecstatic’ to remain with Celtics

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By Agence France-Presse

Guard Marcus Smart said he was “ecstatic” that a sometimes frustrating free agency period ended with him staying with the Boston Celtics, the Boston Globe reported Friday.

The Celtics announced Thursday they had signed Smart to a multi-year deal, which was reportedly worth $52 million over four years.

“I’m ecstatic,” Smart said in a media conference call on Friday. “This is a blessing. Never in a million years did I (think) I’d be able to play for the Boston Celtics.”

Smart said he knew he was heading into a tough free agent market, and he tried to stay on an even keel as negotiations continued.

“This is a business so you can’t get too high or too low on things,” he said. “Obviously if it’s not coming from direct sources you’re hearing all kinds of things from people. But for me personally, I enjoyed the experience. Even though it’s a frustrating experience.”

To gain perspective, Smart had to look no further than his family and his mother’s battle with cancer.

“Everything else becomes a blur to you and really not that important,” he said.

And when the dust settled, Smart found himself right where he wanted to be — still in a city he says he has become his home.

“Boston wants me here, I want to be here. I am here, so we made it work,” he said.

Defensive standout Smart was a key part of the Celtics’ run to the Eastern Conference finals, made despite the injury absences of both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

Smart averaged 9.8 points, 5.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds as the Celtics pushed LeBron James and the Cavs to seven games. (AFP)