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It's official, the King in the Fourth has been coranated into the NBA's elite in this month's edition of SLAM magazine as Isaiah Thomas graces the cover for the first time ever. This April edition of SLAM is their perennial playoff preview and #4 is featured front and center:


In the featured article of the magazine Peter Walsh talks to Isaiah about a host of things - being undersized, picked last, traded twice, and Thomas says he wills himself to success off of motivation from people who have doubted him along the way:

“My job is to make people eat their words,” he says after the shoot. “I’m a guy who likes to speak things into existence. Whatever I say, I feel like I can accomplish because I put work in. I’m not where I want to be. I’m headed in the right direction, but I feel like I have so much more to show the world.”

Thomas spoke on seeing first hand how the Celtics fans cherish Paul Pierce, being at the TD Garden for his fairy tale finale - a moment any player would dream of:

“I was glad I could be part of that moment and see how they embraced him,” Thomas says. “The night before I was out to eat with Jamal Crawford and Paul came into the same restaurant and sat down with us. He was telling me, ‘If you win here, there’s no better feeling in the world because of these fans.’ The next day, seeing how they embraced him, that was an unbelievable moment. And for him to hit the last shot and go out like that, you dream of things like that.”

He talks a lot about his relationship with Jamal Crawford and the relationship he's had with him since his prep school days in Connecticut, when Crawford was playing for the New York Knicks. The 37-year old Clippers guard is regarded as a "big brother" to IT, and Crawford has been amazed at how quickly Thomas has risen among the NBA elite since he landed in Boston:

“To be very honest, the first thing I told him was, You can make an All-Star team over there,” says his best friend and fellow Seattle-area native Jamal Crawford. “I didn’t expect 30 points a night. I didn’t expect it this fast and for him to be in the MVP conversation. I didn’t expect all that. I did expect him to be an All-Star. The next level, I did not see it coming this fast.”

Back in February at All Star Weekend Isaiah got some praise from the greatest of all time in Michael Jordan and he couldn't sleep, but Thomas says his first encounter with Allen Ivereson (his favorite player growing up) was perhaps the most influential. Iverson telling Isaiah he reminded him of himself was all he needed to hear, and the two have become good friends since:

“He was one guy who, when I got to sit with him, changed everything, because he’s arguably the best pound-for-pound player to play, and I want to be right behind him. To sit down with Allen Iverson and for him to tell me, ‘You’re a real killa, just like me,’ nobody can tell me anything anymore. He gave me the OK to be me.”

Almost as cool as the cover itself SLAM got video of Isaiah's reaction to seeing it for the first time, it's about as genuine as you could imagine:




Photo Credit - SLAMonline.com

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401

Mark Allison 4/05/2017 02:13:00 PM Edit
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