Isaiah Thomas entered the Boston Celtics’ matchup with the Chicago Bulls on Sunday with emotions running high.
Just a day before Game 1 of his team’s first-round playoff series, Thomas tragically lost his 22-year-old sister to a single-car crash in Washington. The star guard was hurting entering the game against the Bulls, which Celtics head coach Brad Stevens attested to prior to the matchup.
Thomas manifested these feelings prior to the game, as he was visibly emotional during player introductions when the TD Garden crowd gave him a raucous ovation. While Thomas received unwavering support for taking the floor Sunday, the emotion he showed hours before tip-off was not well received by one basketball analyst.
Speaking on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” on Sunday, Charles Barkley claimed Thomas crying on the court made him “uncomfortable” and believes it wasn’t a good look for the star point guard.
“I’m not feeling comfortable with him sitting on the sideline crying like that,” Barkley said, as transcribed by For The Win. “That makes me uncomfortable because that tells me he’s not in shape to play. I don’t know how this night is going to turn out. But to be sitting on the sideline a few minutes before the game, crying, that makes me uncomfortable for him. That’s just not a good look, in my personal opinion.”
Well, Barkley couldn’t have been more wrong about Thomas not being in shape to play. Although the Celtics fell to the Bulls in Game 1, he turned in a tremendous performance and posted a game-high with 33 points.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports