Isaiah Thomas Wanted Absolutely No Part Of Cavs’ Handshake Tradition

Every sports team has its own flavor of handshakes, but the Cleveland Cavaliers’ often is at the next level.

The Cavs have been renowned for their remarkably in-depth handshake routines, and how those handshakes serve as a basis for chemistry of teammates past and present.

That is, with the exception of Isaiah Thomas.

The point guard’s tenure in Cleveland was rocky to say the least, as he began the season on injured reserve with a hip issue. When he returned, he struggled to regain his form, whilst having some trouble assimilating into the Cavs’ system. He was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers just over a month after his debut with Cleveland.

Apparent struggles with chemistry also were well-documented, and in addition, it appears Thomas was not a fan of the Cavs’ handshakes.

In a story about how the LeBron James-led Cavs are a “family unit,” The Score’s Alex Wong relayed a tale about IT turning his nose at the tradition.

“When the Cavaliers arrived in Toronto for an early-January matchup,” Wong wrote, “they were starting the process of integrating Isaiah Thomas, who’d missed the first 36 games of the season with a hip injury, into the lineup. At practice the day before, (Kevin) Love was excited about the possibility of coming up with a personalized handshake with Thomas, who was less enthusiastic about the endeavor.

‘That’s not what I do,” Thomas said. “I just score the basketball.'”


While at its surface, it is just a handshake. But pro sports teams spend quite a bit of time together, and bonding is imperative. So while it may seem trivial, it is part of the fabric that has made the Cavs a successful team during the James days.

Thumbnail photo via Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports

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