Marcus Smart - Misplaced Outraged and Actual Accountability

Putting your hands on someone typically escalates a problem, not solves it.

However Marcus Smart didn't punch anybody and he certainly didn't shoot anybody and it's about time we started acting accordingly.

Marcus Smart is 19 years old. He is black. Texas Tech super fan Jeff Orr is roughly 50. He is white. According to Smart, Orr used the racial slur everybody who speaks English knows is unacceptable. It's one I've written about extensively. It's one that should never be uttered by anyone under any circumstances directed at another person because there is no way to use it outside of hatefully.

In the moment immediately following this, Smart gave Orr one good shove. He then walked away. This moment was at the very end of a very close basketball game meaning Smart was hopped up, much like Richard Sherman, on incalculable amounts of testosterone and adrenaline.

Orr has denied using the term, but Smart was telling his coaches he did immediately after. It's a lot easier to deny using it out of the moment than to make up that he used it in the spot Smart was in to his coaches. Unless someone else said it and Smart misheard before turning around and confronting Orr, it's a pretty safe bet that he did. And as long as the story from Smart is straight, that aforementioned context is beyond important.


Jeff Orr is lucky he doesn't have a broken jaw. Marcus Smart is going to be lucky to not be suspended for multiple games. Both are at fault to varying degrees, but one is at fault understandabl ewhile the other is so far removed from reality he might as well be in a movie.

That man is Orr. He's a 50 year old man, who according to a profile by Texas Tech, traveled over 30,000 miles supporting Texas Tech basketball in 2008. That isn't school spirit. It's obsession to the point of insanity. There's no way to do that unless "being at every Tech basketball game" is your number one priority. Not family. Not a job, neverthelessea career. Texas Tech basketball.

This is not his first incident either. Not by a longshot. Immediately following the incident with Smart, former Big 12 players from a number of schools came forward on Twitter saying Orr's said awful things to them in the past. Video of past incidents also surfaced within minutes. He's a grown man who acts like an 8 year old at his big brother's game and doesn't know any better. He went after a kid.

Smart, again, is 19 and made a heat of the moment decision he likely regrets. It's very easy with a cool head to say "you can't react like that" but Marcus Smart didn't have a cool head. That's the lesson he has to learn moving forward. It's not 'what to do' that is the problem. He knows what to do. It's doing it. It's being able to realize that you're entering or are in a state of mind where you're not thinking rationally and snapping out of it before you do something you regret.

The next time someone says something, Smart should be prepared. He'll start towards the person and before his foot even leaves the ground, he'll turn the other way; perhaps towards a security guard to escort the incredulously out of line fan from the building forever. Again, the lesson isn't teaching Smart what he's supposed to do, which is much of what's being debated and will be until some new controversy steals the headlines. He knows what he's supposed to do. It's teaching him when to do it, suppressing the same emotion that has given him a reputation as one of the hardest working players in the country in favor of the rational response to adversity.

Smart shouldn't have done what he did, but I'm not going to pretend to be outraged over it because I'm not. Quite frankly, I'm surprised at how many people are. We're all scarred from "The Malice at the Palace" but comparing the two situations is by no means justifiable for a number of reasons starting with Marcus Smart isn't Ron Artest. Artest is a borderline crazy person. Smart's character on many scouting reports was "beyond reproach" before a chair-kicking incident a few weeks back that was more frustration with himself than anything else.

If you take these same two people out on the street and play out the same result, most people would agree that Orr is lucky to not have had his clock cleaned, and many would probably say he'd deserve it. Now that we're on a basketball court where the antagonized is already high strung, he's supposed to show more restraint? It's just not realistic.

Violence isn't the answer. The high road is. So is proper accountability which is why I am upset. However it's not with Marcus Smart. It's with Jeff Orr because when I was 19, I sure as hell didn't have life figured out yet and my emotions weren't exactly always in check. I'm going to take a wild stab that yours weren't either. For Marcus Smart, this shove is nothing more than a really valuable learning experience in which, luckily, no harm was really done.

And that's okay.