Celtics’ Smart says he’s cleared of coronavirus

NBA

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago, has been cleared by the Massachusetts Department of Health, he announced on social media Sunday night.

Smart and the Celtics were in Milwaukee on March 11, preparing to play the Bucks the next night — in front of no fans — when the NBA suspended its season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus before that night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Boston, having played Utah the week before, wound up coming home from Milwaukee the next day and self-isolating, before Smart eventually tested positive for the virus.

“Corona Free as of two days ago. Cleared by Mass Dept of Health,” Smart said on Twitter. “Thanks for everyone’s thoughts and prayers and I’m doing the same for everyone that’s been effected by this. Stay safe and stay together- apart! Much love!”

In a media conference call last week, Boston coach Brad Stevens was enthused with Smart’s progress, saying he was doing “great.”

“Great spirits. Joking as always,” Stevens said last Friday. “We had a Zoom with the team, told the team we were going to give them their own space to hang out and have fun — and he told us to get off. So he’s great.”

Stevens also spoke about Smart’s courage to speak out, once the prognosis came back.

“I’m proud of how he kinda took the initiative to tell people that he had it and that he felt good and that he got online and just continued to ask people to practice social distancing and self-isolation right now,” the coach said. “It’s a really unique, unsettling time for everyone.”

Smart, 26, is averaging 13.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists this season. If and when the league resumes the regular season, Boston will take the floor in third place in the Eastern Conference, at 43-21.

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