Isaiah Thomas caught the attention of an NBA legend.
The Boston Celtics point guard has continued his rise to stardom this season, posting numbers on par with several other franchise cornerstones across the league. Allen Iverson, who revolutionized basketball as an undersized superstar, recently took notice and reached out to Thomas following a 29-point effort from the 27-year-old that sparked a comeback win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“Keep doing your thing. I’m watching,” a text message from Iverson to Thomas read, according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg.
This text — reportedly one of many congratulatory texts Thomas received after Boston’s comeback victory over Minnesota — really hit home for Thomas. He, like many smaller guards nowadays, idolizes Iverson and the greatness The Answer achieved during the late 1990s into the 2000s.
“It was real early in the morning that he texted, like 8:30, so he must have been watching highlights (of the Celtics-Timberwolves game) or something,” Thomas said, per Forsberg. “I told him, ‘I appreciate it and that I’m just trying to be like you.’ He was like, ‘Say no more.’ Those texts man, it just motivates me to keep going. Someone like that is watching me without me even reaching out to him, so I guess I’m doing something right.”
This text wasn’t the first time Thomas has spoken with Iverson, but it served as a reminder of how far Thomas has come and how far he could go with continued development. Thomas, who landed with Boston in February 2015, earned his first All-Star selection last season en route to averaging 22.2 points and 6.2 assists per game, and he’s become one of the NBA’s most dynamic players despite standing just 5-foot-9.
“It’s just like, when you have a stamp from arguably the pound-for-pound best player ever, it’s like, ‘I’m not going to listen to nobody else. I already got the stamp,’ ” Thomas told Forsberg. “(Iverson) already said I was pretty good and that I’m cut from the same cloth as him. And those type of things only motivate me to keep going.”
The sky certainly appears to be the limit for Thomas, especially if Iverson keeps serving up some extra motivation.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports Images