Marcus Smart reveals what he wanted to put on back of his jersey for NBA restart
Smart said he would have had “I Matter” stitched across the back of his jersey, per A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston, but it was not one of the available choices.
Marcus Smart said he would have preferred "I Matter" on his jersey, but that wasn't among the choices #NBA players had to select from.
— A. Sherrod Blakely (@ASherrodblakely) July 12, 2020
Marcus Smart’s reasoning for not being able to put his preferred message on his jersey has to do with the NBA’s list of approved messages.
League officials offered players a select number of social justice messages they could put on the back of their jerseys in place of their names, according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN.
But Marcus Smart isn’t the only player that has been critical of the offerings by the league when it comes to the available options. LeBron James said Saturday he will keep his name on the back of his jersey, noting “I wasn’t part of that process” when it came to selecting messages.
Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown also expressed disappointment on Monday about the lack of options that the NBA has offered players ahead of the restart in Orlando.
Jaylen Brown on jersey messages: "I would like to see more options available to put on the bask of our jersey…For issues and causes such as now, I think that list is an example of a form of limitations…I was very disappointed in the list."
— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) July 6, 2020
A number of players are indeed replacing individual names with the above slogans, which should at least help make an impact even if the players had different ideas about what they wanted to include on the jerseys.
However, it seems pretty apparent a number of players–including Smart–felt there was not enough dialogue in determining the kind of messages which could be used.