On the court, Marcus Smart is a bulldog defender, a physical deterrent for every guard he faces as a super sub in Boston. Still just 21 years old, the 6-4 Smart also has an improving shot (38 percent from 3-point range in February) and is known as one of the building blocks for the young Celtics.
Off of the floor, however, Smart has a completely different persona. Though he may not approach some of the more eccentric looks of some of the NBA’s biggest stars, Smart mixes his homegrown Dallas roots with casual style pieces to combat the ghastly Northeast weather. Whereas some NBA players are all over the map with what they wear, Smart stays in his adidas lane–Yeezys and Stan Smiths on his feet; denim and graphic Tees to complete the fit.
During All-Star Weekend in the 6ix, I caught up with Smart the morning after he started for Team USA in their win during the Rising Stars Challenge. We talked about how his wardrobe has changed over the years–going from his hometown, Dallas, to Boston–as well as his favorite sneaker to wear off the floor. Naturally, our conversation drifted toward Yeezy, just as everything seems to these days.
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Coming from Texas and now staying with Boston, how do you deal with all that cold weather?
Oh, man. It’s a big shock. It’s definitely a change. I try not to go outside when I’m in Boston when it’s cold. I try to stay in as much as I can.
In terms of the weather, that’s going to dictate a little bit of what you wear. How has your style changed because of that?
Growing up, I wasn’t really big on the scarf game. Now that I’m in the Northeast, there’s the scarf, the long trench coats, and things like that. Being in Dallas, everything you want to be cool in. Now on the East Coast, you got to switch it up. You want to be warm so you gotta wear long-sleeve stuff, things that are going to keep you warm. In Dallas, you don’t want that. You want to be as cold as you can.
Style changes from generation to generation. What’s something that you wore as a kid that you might laugh about now?
(Laughs) Ah, man. Dang, that’s a good question. There were the long Tees, but see then again the long Tees are coming back. You can’t really say that. I can definitely say the baggy pants where everything was huge on you. Now everyone wants to wear the slim fit, the custom fit, the tailored look. When you see somebody with the big old pants with so much room, it just don’t look right anymore.
Style might change but a lot of sneakers can stay relevant forever. Why?
Well, just like everything else you start with a core foundation. You start with the Shell-Toes, the ones that started it all, the originals, the Stan Smiths. Those are the shoes that got it started and everybody loves those. You got different colors, all of a sudden with the Stan Smiths you got the greens and you got the navy blues, mix it up. Now you got the same shoe with different colors so now you can get the same shoe and switch it out with outfits. Those shoes are the foundation. Everybody has a foundation and that’s why those shoes stay relevant.
On the court, what’s it’s like playing in the Crazylight Boost?
Well, first off the Boost is unbelievably comfortable. It’s really light on your feet. You got a lot of shoes that are heavy—a lot of guys like their shoes heavy. I don’t like mine too light or too heavy, just right. The Boost technology balances that out. That aspect of it is unique that they thought of something like that.
You have a favorite colorway this year?
Yeah, my black and green ones. That’s probably my favorite colored shoe that I would wear with the team. I have obviously other colors but I roll with black and green.
Are you the type of guy who needs a new pair every game?
Nah, I like to stick with the same pair. It’s hard. I don’t see how guys can switch up different shoes, different games. You got to break the shoe in. If you break it in during the game…nah, I’ll take the risk.
What are you wearing off the court?
The thing I’m wearing the most off the court…I’m gonna have to say the Pharrell package, honestly. There are just so many colors. You can mix and match it with almost anything and it’s going to look good. I wear those a lot. I wear my Yeezys a lot. Mostly those two right there.
You’ve been showing your Yeezys off a little bit on the ‘gram. There are pretty simple-looking shoes. Is that part of the appeal? That you can wear them with pretty much anything?
Yeah, it’s crazy because that’s one of the shoes out of a lot of shoes that you can wear as a dress shoe or just casual to go out. You’re going out to an event or club in something and you just want to look good, you can throw on some Yeezys. Now you look good. Or if you’re outside just to go for a walk, you can wear the Yeezys and they still look as good as if you were going out. That’s the unique style about those.
There are a lot of guys that design shoes and are pretty stylish, but for some reason Kanye has this appeal that takes him to another level.
Well, like I said earlier, everybody has their own unique style and Kanye is one of those guys where he puts his character into his creations within the shoes and the clothing. That’s Kanye. He has his own touch and it’s a good look. When you have somebody as big-name as Kanye, people are willing to wear his stuff because it looks good and it feels good.
In the NBA, it’s gotten to a point now where style is super, super important. Are you competing against other guys in the league or is it just because of the environment?
I’d say it’s a little bit of both but there’s definitely a secret competition going on. Especially being an athlete, you’re always competing, regardless if you want to or not or if you think you’re doing it. You’re competing in some way. But definitely, everybody wants to look good.