Before Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas arrived in Boston, the Celtics’ rebuild effort still was in its infancy. But those two core players helped changed things in Boston.
Both Thomas and Crowder arrived in Boston during the 2014-15 season, and they immediately helped the C’s make the playoffs one year removed from a 25-57 campaign in Year 1 of the rebuild. And two years later, the Celtics finished the regular season with the best record in the Eastern Conference and made it to the conference finals.
Neither player will be part of Boston’s plans going forward, as they were traded, along with two draft picks and Ante Zizic, to the Cavs for Kyrie Irving. But that future wouldn’t be possible without what the former Celtics did, as Thomas pointed out during their introductory press conference Thursday, via SlamOnline.com.
Question: “Does it hurt more going forward, when you look at the Celtics? core, that you had a direct hand in all three of those guys being in Boston?”
Thomas’ answer: ?We built that. But it?s all good. Like I said, it?s the business of it. There?s no hard feelings. I’m not upset with anybody. I was surprised, like I said, but I?m happy to be here.?
To be fair, Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge certainly get a significant portion of that credit, too, but when it comes to the “Big Three” of the Celtics’ rebuild, Thomas is right there with them.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images