LeBron James appears to be very excited about Isaiah Thomas’ return to the court.
Thomas has yet to suit up for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season because of his nagging hip injury. The Cavs certainly can use Thomas’ energy and playmaking ability, as the team is off to an underwhelming 7-7 start to the season.
But James believes Thomas can provide more than just sharpshooting and a winning attitude to Cleveland. In a recent interview with Bleacher Report Magazine, James explained why he’s so excited for Thomas’ return, and he seemed to take a shot at one of his former teammates in the process.
“It’s been a while since I’ve had that clear-cut guy who can get guys involved but also score at the same time,” James told B/R Mag. “But it’s fine. It’s something that our team will make an adjustment to.”
One can’t help but think there’s a subtle jab at Kyrie Irving in James’ quote. Irving often has been flacked for not being a traditional point guard, rather a volume scorer who can create his own shot.
James’ comment is somewhat puzzling, though, considering Irving and Thomas are very similar players. Neither player will stuff the stat sheet in the assist column on a nightly basis and both have shortcomings on the defensive end. With that said, it’s no certainty that Thomas and James will be able to smoothly coexist.
Maybe James still has sour grapes about Irving fleeing Cleveland for the Boston Celtics. Following Irving’s season-high 35-point night against the Atlanta Hawks, James’ Instagram activity following the Celtics’ win suggested he still was bitter that Irving sought greener pastures.
We have a feeling there will be a little extra juice in TD Garden when the Celtics host the Cavaliers on Jan. 3.