Marcus Smart has a penchant for outsmarting other players into getting them into foul problems or, even worse, thrown out in a game. If you're on the same team, it's a genius move, but it's a non-basketball move that should be called illegal for opposing teams. So for all the bashing and flak, he's received, why does Smart still do it?
One of the best feelings in the world
Flopping works for players who don't do it often, but it becomes a drug that most deny they have been addicted to doing. Smart knew he exaggerates contacts to get calls, and before the NBA had to change its rules regarding flopping, he mostly got away with it.
In the Old Man & The Three podcast hosted by JJ Redick and Tommy Alter, Marcus was shown his flopping highlights and was laughing at his own antics and just being a good sport about it.
The shooting guard revealed one flopping incident, which worked for Boston Celtics because the opposing team had to challenge the play, burning their challenge privilege early in the game. Aside from the feeling that he gave his team an advantage in those situations, Smart loves seeing the other guy's reaction after baiting him for a foul or getting him thrown out.
"It's no better feeling when you know you get a guy to you bait him into a trap, get him thrown out the game, get a foul call on him and he just goes ballistic. It's one of the best feelings in the world."
The case of flopping
Smart is a decent player who provides above-average defense and decent playmaking. Being labeled a flopper takes away the good things he can do on the floor and hurts his reputation. But is it worth it? Does he have to do it all the time? I guess if the Celtics continue to win, nothing else matters.
All players do it; even the great ones do it. In basketball, just like in any sport with rules and referees, players can do anything borderline illegal and just let the video replays and referees make judgments. If the whistle was not blown, it was a good play. But flopping is not a natural basketball move, and critics claim it takes away from the flow of the game. It's seen as a weak move by the defense, resorting to tricking the opposing players.
Even if Smart still gets hated for committing flopping, it's safe to assume he will still sell fouls every chance he gets. As long as his team wins, nothing else matters. Plus, he gets a real kick seeing other people's reactions after outsmarting them on the court.