It was the height of his career, one series away from the NBA Finals in what was an improbable situation.
Isaiah Thomas, who played through unimaginable pain both mentally and physically, poured his heart and soul into every minute during that playoff run. It wasn’t enough, and a hip injury he’d been battling removed him from the Eastern Conference Finals after just two games. Not to mention the mental scars of playing through the pain of the loss of his sister Chyna, who had died in a tragic car accident before Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Isaiah Thomas lived, breathed, and embodied everything it meant to be a Boston Celtic.
Six months later, he was traded to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving, when then created a domino effect that essentially morphed him from a perennial MVP candidate to a journeyman with a nagging hip injury. Thomas has made pit stops in Cleveland, Los Angeles with the Lakers, then the Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.
With rumors the Clipper plan to release the former All-Star, it’s time for the Celtics to get their beloved point guard back.
During his three-]year tenure with the Celtics, he turned up in the fourth quarter. He provided a spark whenever he touched the parquet. Including the game after the aforementioned tragic passing of his sister Chyna, in which he dropped 53 points. He carries the heart, passion, and bulldog mentality that blends well with the guys already in the locker room: Guys like Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Kemba Walker, just to name a few.
The Celtics are notorious for having cold stretches mid-way through the game where they just can’t score. Thomas can provide that spark off the bench to provide some stability that lacks when Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum sit. Every team needs that microwave off the bench. Lou Williams and Patrick Mills made entire careers off of being that spark.
While it is evident that Thomas can’t be the quick pick-and-pop guy he was back in 2017, that is okay. As long as he can bring that fiery energy, he will go to war with the right group around him. He is that piece that is missing to secure a trip to the NBA Finals this season.
In the offseason, during an interview with Adam Himmelsbach, he said this on a potential return to his former team: “You never know… You can’t predict the future. My options are always open for anybody. I’m a Denver Nugget now, but I’m a free agent at the end of the season, and you never know what can happen. Who knows?”
“What happened in Boston happened for a reason, and that love’s going to last forever,” Thomas said during another offseason interview. “I was only here three years, but you’d think I was here 15 from the love that they showed me and the love that we gave each other. That’s all genuine. It was a city that needed something at that time, and I needed a team that believed in me. I’m a hard-working guy and played with my all, and that’s all the people here wanted. They expected greatness, and I wanted to show them greatness.”
While the buyout market was already a spot on the calendar for the Celtics, it is a little more special this time around.