Isaiah Thomas loved Boston and everything he accomplished with the Celtics.
And he was devastated by the blockbuster trade that sent him from the C’s to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Kyrie Irving.
Thomas came to Boston by way of a trade with the Phoenix Suns during the 2014-15 season, and he blossomed into an All-Star point guard at TD Garden. He led the C’s to the best record in the Eastern Conference last season. Thomas played for two months despite having a torn labrum in his hip. He also suited up in the playoffs just days after his younger sister Chyna was killed in a car accident.
But what hurts Thomas the most about the trade, is how close he felt the Celtics were.
“I felt like I was building my own thing in Boston and we were close,” Thomas told Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated. “We were so close! Dang! That’s what hurts. We went from the lottery to the conference finals. We just got Hayward. We were right there. Think of all the national TV games we were about to have.”
Even though the trade stung, the 5-foot-9 Thomas knows he’s lucky to be playing with LeBron James this season.
“I get to be with the best player in the world now,” Thomas says. “I’ll only have one guy on me. All the double and triple teams will be on 23.”
The 28-year-old won’t take the floor for the Cavs when the season opens against the Celtics on Oct. 17, as he still is rehabbing the hip injury that caused him to miss the final 3 1/2 games of the 2017 Eastern Conference finals.
But when he returns, the Cavs will be deeper and more explosive than they’ve ever been, and that makes them the biggest threat to knock off the Golden State Warriors.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images