Isaiah Thomas has spoken.
The All-Star point guard was noticeably silent in the days following his shocking trade from the Boston Celtics to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving, which was announced Aug. 22 and finalized eight days later. That all changed Wednesday, though, when Thomas bared his soul in an emotionally charged article published on The Players’ Tribune.
In the piece, which is lengthy but absolutely worth your time, Thomas recalled the moment he learned of the trade: When Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge called him and said, point-blank, “I just traded you.”
Thomas also expressed what many already thought: He wasn’t too happy with the move.
“Yeah, I’ll just say it: That s*** hurt,” Thomas wrote. “It hurt a lot. And I won’t lie — it still hurts.”
The 28-year-old guard, who earned a permanent place in Celtics folklore thanks to an incredible 2016-17 campaign, explained that he understands the business of the trade and that he doesn’t hold a personal grudge against Ainge or any member of the C’s.
He did add this little dig at Ainge and Co., though: “I don’t agree with it, just personally, and I don’t think the Boston Celtics got better by making this trade. But that’s not my job. That’s Danny’s.”
Thomas always has been free with his opinions and emotions, and he devoted much of the piece to Celtics fans, who he believes helped him develop into the player he is today by embracing his desire to “win now” rather than continue a slow and steady rebuild.
“It’s almost like me and the city, my Celtics teams and these Celtics fans, we both shared the same heart, that same mentality,” Thomas wrote. “We both just wanted to win — now — and neither of us had any time for our critics.
“It was like, Man, f*** the (NBA Draft) lottery.”
He also described in emotional detail how Boston fans helped lift him up in the playoffs after his sister, Chyna, died one day before the team’s first postseason game.
“People had these signs they made, and I can still see them: THIS IS FOR CHYNA. WE ❤ ISAIAH. That sort of thing,” Thomas wrote. “Then they did a moment of silence, the whole arena, in Chyna’s honor. And it was like … man. I just realized, in that moment, that I didn’t need the court to shield me.
“I didn’t need to block it all out, and pretend I wasn’t grieving. I didn’t have to be alone in this. The whole arena was right there with me. Honestly, it felt like the whole city of Boston was with me.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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