Smart praises Bass as a leader and teammate


SALT LAKE CITY – In Marcus Smart’s short time in the NBA, he has quickly learned that teammates have a way of coming and going.

The very guy that you are prepared to go to war with on the floor every night, can quickly become the target of your team’s game plan.

So that’s why Smart has nothing but fond memories of this past season when he played with Brandon Bass.

The 6-foot-8-inch Bass, an unrestricted free agent this summer, is expected to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers at some point following the July 9 moratorium on player signings.

“Brandon Bass is a great player,” Smart said prior to the Celtics’ summer league game Monday against Utah. “He does all the little things, you talk about a leader … he’s definitely that guy. He leads not only with his voice but also by example. He’s the type of guy that’s going to have a longer career in the league.”

Heading into his 11th NBA season, Bass has shown the kind of longevity few second-round picks display over the course of an NBA career.

“That just speaks volumes about the type of person, the type of game he has,” Smart said.

Smart admits it will be kind of weird seeing Bass in a Lakers jersey – or any jersey other than a Celtics one – next season.

“But as a competitor, you look for those challenges,” Smart said. “You know the type of player they are. You know they’re going to bring it every day.”

Smart says Bass’ work ethic more than anything else, is what he’ll remember most about the 30-year-old forward.

“It’s easy to come into this NBA lifestyle and lose your mind,” Smart said. “But seeing Brandon Bass, a veteran going into his 11th NBA season, he doesn’t have to do it. He already has an established name for himself. He’s still getting up, he’s still there. As a young guy, seeing that, it puts in your mind as a young guy that if he can still do it, I should start doing it.”

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