BOSTON — After sharing laughs and memories as AAU teammates, Jerryd Bayless and Isaiah Thomas became the best of friends, often meeting before games as NBA players in the rare instances their teams faced off, to reminisce about the good old days.
Nah, just kidding. They hate each other.
The simmering beef between Bayless and Thomas boiled over Friday, when their respective teams, the Celtics and Kings, ended up in a chippy matchup at TD Garden. The two were assessed technical fouls on an odd exchange in the fourth quarter, which began with a simple shooting foul and ended with a shoving match after Bayless thought Thomas stood over him a bit too long after sending Bayless to the ground on a foul.
Bayless was unaware of any beef — or he pretended he was, anyway — but Thomas was straightforward, if brief.
“I don’t like him,” Thomas said. “End of story.”
Despite Bayless being a sixth-year veteran and Thomas only just cracking into the league in his third year, they’re separated in age by less than six months and played on the same AAU team in high school. Something happened to destroy a beautiful friendship, though, and it may never be salvageable.
Or maybe it is. Who knows. Check out the play that set off the skirmish in the photo below.