Boston had little idea the kind of impact and energy Isaiah Thomas would inject into the Garden.
Apparently, Thomas had little idea how special it would be playing in the hub.
Appearing in the The Players Tribune entitled "Boston," Thomas penned his feelings on the city along with detailing his reaction to being traded, his first encounters with Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens, and his relationship with the fans.
On the trade:
I guess the trade was in the works right up until the deadline, so the news didn’t get out until a few minutes after. But it was a done deal. I was shocked. I grabbed my stuff, dapped everybody up and hugged a few guys. They all wished me luck, and I got off the bus. Everything was happening so fast. I hadn’t even expected to get traded, and now I had to go meet with the Suns’ front office. I had to pack up my locker and get my family set up.
On meeting Ainge:
I passed my physical that night, and while the Celtics were in Sacramento playing the Kings, I watched the game with Danny Ainge in his office — just me and the GM. We talked about the team, about the trade, about me. And he said something to me I couldn’t believe. “Isaiah … the way you play the game of basketball, you could be a Celtics legend.
On meeting Stevens:
He said he didn’t want me to adapt to the rest of the team. He wanted the rest of the team to adapt to me. He said he wanted me to play my game and be the best Isaiah Thomas I could be. I had never heard anything like that from a coach in my professional career. These guys weren’t just hyped about a big trade. They genuinely believed in me. And I could tell that they believed in every guy in that locker room. That’s why they brought us here.
On the fans:
I’m a little guy — I’m only five-foot-eight — so unless you’re a huge basketball fan, you’re probably not going to recognize me around town. I’m not like Jared Sullinger ducking into the doorway of a restaurant. I blend in. At least that’s what it was like everywhere else I played. Here in Boston, though, people recognize me everywhere I go. They ask me for my picture or my autograph. They know my kids. It’s different from anything I’ve ever experienced, and I love every minute of it. My parents come to games at the Garden sometimes, and every time they do, they say, “Do you see how many number 4 jerseys there are in the crowd?” I do. And I appreciate the love, Boston.
It's understandable how the Celtics fans may not have known what they were getting with I.T. When Thomas was acquired after the 2015 NBA trade deadline, minds were elsewhere as all of New England was just weeks removed from celebrating a Super Bowl victory. In addition, from his college to his early days on poor teams in the pros, Thomas spent his entire basketball career on the West Coast.
But from the moment the diminutive guard stepped on the floor wearing green, Boston's love affair immediately started. The Celtics brass had their eyes of Thomas for a long time. After an All-Star appearance and two trips to the postseason, the brass and the fans have been rewarded.
Thomas to stay off of social media during playoff run
Following in the footsteps of LeBron James and Chris Paul, Isaiah Thomas vows to stay off of social media during the duration of the Celtics' playoff run.
Via Jay King, MassLive.com:
"I'm just trying to really lock in and have no distractions," Thomas said Saturday morning before a Celtics shootaround to prepare for Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks. "Social media, you can have a big game and they love you; have a bad game, they'll tear you apart. I just want the least amount of distractions for myself. And just try to really lock in and stay in the moment."
Photo Credit: Scott Cunningham
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Patrick Bernadeau 4/19/2016 10:00:00 AM Tweet Edit