Biggie and Tupac....Nas and Jay-Z... Thomas and Tanguay?
The bickering between Isaiah Thomas and CSNNE's Gary Tanguay doesn't seem to have an end point. The story has been out long enough that most people are aware what happened. On the CSNNE's The Early Edition, hosts Gary Tanguay and Greg Dickerson discussed Thomas as an elite player, and both came to the conclusion that the pint-sized point guard was not a "foundation player":
Thomas then responded with a tweet that has been since taken down:
Thanks Greg Dickerson and that other guy LOL… ‘If the hate don’t work they start telling lies’ smh
And the back and forth began:
It's Boston @Isaiah_Thomas we tell it like it is. You are not a foundation player. A very good player but not great. From the other guy.— Gary Tanguay (@Gary_Tanguay) February 27, 2016
I love Thomas, who was a first-time All-Star this season, throwing that jab out there. It's what makes social media great. Thomas clearly plays with a huge chip on his shoulder and these issues with Tanguay couldn't come at a better time, as the team uses all the motivation it needs to secure homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
As a side note: If the comments from Thomas were directed just at Dickerson, I think the fan backlash would be less one sided. Dickerson is liked in this town, Tanguay not so much. When Tanguay fills in for John Dennis on the radio, he actually makes you miss Dennis.
For anyone who has been a die-hard C's fan for a substantial amount of time, you know that Dickerson has always bled green. When the Celts sucked he was the only one on the radio who ever wanted to discuss the team, so you have to give the man respect, and his opinion holds more weight than a lot of people's in this area.
There are many different opinions on Tanguay from fans in the region. He obviously has talent. He does an admirable job with all the Patriots work, but when it comes to the Celtics he is the ultimate hater. Whether it is a shtick or he truly believes it, Tanguay knows that hating on the Celts, and especially their most known player, is going to get people to talk about him, and he loves it. Tanguay is all about the "wow factor" so deep down you have to wonder if he is doing all this for ratings, and to boost his notoriety in a clogged sports media city.
Back to the issue at hand. After Thomas tweeted that subtle dig, Tanguay countered:
Isaiah is a very good player and could easily be an integral part of a title-contending team. Can you imagine this guy coming off the bench for the Spurs or Golden State? Wow.
The response from Tanguay made sense and was well thought out. Unfortunately Thomas didn't take it that way, and continued all week sending shade Tanguay's way:
Apparently, Gary Tanguay invited Isaiah Thomas on his show. Thomas: "I would never go on his show. I don’t even know his name."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 1, 2016
The quotes from Thomas were made after the win Monday against Utah. We all figured the grudge would end there, but then Isaiah was asked about the lack of respect the C's get, he decided to send another subliminal message Tanguay's way following last night's W over Portland:
A smirking Thomas on perceived knock against the Celtics: "“I guess we’ve got no superstar. No ‘foundation player,’ right?”— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) March 3, 2016
So where do Thomas and Tanguay go from here? The playoffs for Thomas will be the best answer to Tanguay and the rest of the haters. The game slows down in the postseason, something Thomas had difficulty adjusting to last season. In their first postseason experience against Cleveland the 27-year-old averaged 17.5 PPG but when it counted struggled from the floor in the last two games shooting only 26 percent from the field on a combined 6-of-26 shooting.
This is something Tanguay and I agree on:
Via MassLive's Jay King:
He's never going to be a star. I agree. I think it's a nice story this year. He is their best offensive option and that's why he's getting the shots. I think it's going to change once he gets to the playoffs. I think things are going to be a little bit different.
In the meantime let the back and forth continue. Who makes the next move?
Follow Rob Welch on Twitter @CelticWelch