When the news broke that Marcus Smart was forgoing the NBA draft to return to school people were genuinely shocked. How could he do it? Why?
Sports fans typically have one filter when evaluating these types of decisions: cash. If anything besides cash enters any players mind, then he's dumb. He turned down guaranteed millions to return to school. Writers trip over themselves to write that he should have gone pro because nothing is guaranteed just sentences after stating that it was guaranteed that he'd be a top 5 pick. But why be consistent when you need to go on and describe all the things he could buy with his guaranteed money?
He was a lock to be a top 5 pick! He was rich!
From there the narrative switches to him following his heart, and how refreshing that is.
And how do we know these things? How do we know why he made the decision he made? It's simple. It's because we know better than Marcus Smart what is best for Marcus Smart.
Marcus Smart turned in the paperwork to get a draft evaluation. Has anyone seen what came back? Do we know that the NBA execs agree with the people who do pretend drafts who keep getting cited in all of these stories? Is it possible that he wasn't a guaranteed top 5 pick, or top 10 pick? That the NBA sees holes in his game which need to be addressed?
Of course not. And we have lots of fake drafts to point to in order to prove it.
So he must be following his heart. Nevermind that it could be any of a million other scenarios, but those scenarios aren't the ones that we want it to be. We want him to come back to take care of unfinished business, to come back because he loves the game so much.
All of these things might very well be true. Who knows? Maybe he a lock for the top 5. Maybe he is just following his heart.
And maybe we should wait until we know what is going on before we draw conclusions.
Nah. Waiting for facts would be as dumb as Marcus Smart.