Hey, Marcus Smart; it is all about money, right?

Alan Greenwood

When a professional athlete begins his great free agent adventure, it is inevitable that he will solemnly tell the world, ‘This is not just about the money.”

To any thinking person, that empty chatter is greeted with arched eyebrows at one end of the spectrum and soft, cynical chuckles at the other. Money is always the centerpiece of the free agent’s shopping list. It may be embroidered with a few non-mercenary items, but those never cast a long shadow over salary and bonus offers.

Which brings us to Marcus Smart, a Celtics guard in free-agent limbo. Smart kicked off his summer journey by publicly saying he is “hurt and disgusted” that the Celtics have not stepped up and given him a better offer than a deal last fall that reportedly was more valuable than a four-year, $33 million deal that the Utah Jazz gave guard Dante Exum.

Apparently, Smart’s agent said they would be willing to reconsider the offer they walked away from last year. Money does wonders to repair wounded feelings and general disgust.

That wasn’t the damning evidence betraying Smart’s true priority. That was obvious when someone got wind of his meeting with the Brooklyn Nets. Any man who would mull over life as a Brooklyn Net has clearly set his main interest as filling his vault.

You may recall that the Nets unwittingly (OK, maybe half-wittingly) gave the Celtics a head start in the rebuilding project that put them where they now stand. Nowhere was, is and will be their destination until further notice.

The Celtics have done the bare minimum by making Smart, happy or not, a $6.05 million “qualifying offer.”

The quote marks indicate a determination not to dive into the coma-inducing legal prattle about restricted free agency.

Making anyone do that would be truly hurtful and disgusting.

CITIES GOLF TOURNEY GOES DARK: An email landed here Monday from Ryan Brogan, who has put lots of effort into keeping the Cities Golf Tournament going in recent years.

“I regret to inform you that the Nashua Cities will not take place this calendar year. I apologize to our past participants and generous supporters. The tournament will be back in 2019.”

One man’s knee-jerk reaction. So much for that. The tourney has certainly been a chore to keep going for several years, having lost its luster from the days when it was a 72-hole event spread over two weekends.

But, Brogan emailed Wednesday, this year’s absence is a blip, not a flatline.

“The courses and sponsors we have had have been terrific and are still completely behind the event, but I’ve just had some things come up in my life, and I was not able to organize the event and keep it at the same high levels that it has been,” Brogan said. “We’re definitely bringing it back next year. This is just a one-year hiatus.”

TIME TRAVEL: July 12, 1988 – “Shawn Farrell’s single drove in Brian Decolabus with the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning as Nashua South nipped Hillsborough11-10 to stay alive in the winner’s bracket in the Nashua East Babe Ruth Bambino Baseball League’s third annual 9-10-year-old Major League All Star Tournament.”

Try reading that aloud without taking a breath. Someone forgot that sentences that run into the 50-word range are in desperate need of a period or two.

ALL STAR SNOOZE: Red Sox fans must have noticed utility man Brock Holt’s campaign to get Andrew Benintendi voted in to fill the American League’s final roster spot. Holt waving a giant Benintendi head behind the man himself during a post-game interview Tuesday night may be the campaign’s highlight.

Holt may be recalled as the lone Red Sox player on the 2015 AL All Star roster, mostly because every team must be represented by someone. Oh, and he was enjoying a slightly more-than adequate season.

Alan Greenwood can be reached at 594-1248, agreenwood @nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_ AlanG.