Marcus Smart’s hustle play leads to strange hand injury in Grizzlies-Pelicans game

The Memphis Grizzlies have had three games since they played the New Orleans Pelicans on Dec. 26 and came away with an overtime win.

But guard Marcus Smart continues to deal with an injury he suffered during the victory, and it’s quite the peculiar one.

Smart, wearing tape around his left hand, revealed to reporters after his shootaround Tuesday that he is dealing with the after effects of splinters he suffered after diving for a loose ball.

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Marcus Smart looks on court

Marcus Smart #36 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings at FedExForum on December 31, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Justin Ford/Getty Images)

“When I dove, my hand slid into the court, and the court just took everything with it,” Smart told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “Last night, [the sore] Kept getting re-opened. Every time the ball hit it, it just busted open with blood.”

“When I caught the ball, by the time it got enough feeling back, it was time to make a play, shoot it or drive it,” Smart added. “Nothing I put on it — Band-Aid, nothing — it won’t stay on it. It just kept re-opening, re-opening. Every time we close it, it’ll re-open again.”

Smart was seen during the TV broadcast of the game getting attention from a team trainer, who appeared to pull the splinter out of Smart’s hand.

Marcus Smart dribbles ball

Marcus Smart #36 of the Memphis Grizzlies brings the ball up court during the game against the Sacramento Kings at FedExForum on December 31, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Justin Ford/Getty Images)

Smart took off the bandage on his hand to show reporters what he’s dealing with, one of which from The Daily Memphian calling the wound “nasty.” The report added that it’s the size of a ping-pong ball.

Despite the pain and annoyance in his hand, Smart won’t be taking any time off. He’s expected to be on the court against the San Antonio Spurs at home on Tuesday night.

Marcus Smart with hands on knees

Marcus Smart #36 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings at FedExForum on December 31, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Justin Ford/Getty Images)

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Since that win over the Pelicans, though, Memphis hasn’t been able to add to its win column. They’ve lost three straight, though Smart has done well with 17 points, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals averaged per game.

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