How Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady Helped Lift Isaiah Thomas After Sister’s Death


The image of then-Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas crying on the bench at TD Garden following his sister’s tragic death still is vivid to many. And to this day, it’s still mystifying how he managed to play during the 2017 NBA playoffs.

In the second installment of “Book of Isaiah II,” a documentary on the now-Cleveland Cavaliers point guard via The Players’ Tribune, Thomas opens up about that postseason run. And according to Thomas, the support of other athletes helped get him through the difficult time.

“Those who helped me were my family, my parents, my close friends, the Celtics, (Brad) Stevens, the coaching staff, my teammates,” Thomas said. “So many guys reached out: Floyd Mayweather, Tom Brady. I remember Kobe Bryant texted me, ‘No one can tell you what to do, but if you do play, play like a killer.’ ”

Through the strife, Thomas certainly rose to the occasion, putting together one of the most memorable postseason performances in recent memory on the day when his sister would have turned 23. Thomas scored 53 points in the Celtics’ overtime win over the Washington Wizards in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

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