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Isaiah Thomas may forever love the city of Boston, but the same cannot be said for the team's general manager Danny Ainge. While the point guard doesn't hold a grudge with the fans, players, or other members of the Celtics community, he has one with the man who shipped him out of the town that he grew to love.

When Sacramento let Thomas walk in free agency in 2014, he promised to make them regret it. Then the Suns traded him away, and he ensured that they'd pay for it, too. However, even though Boston pulled the rug from under him and traded him for Kyrie Irving, he doesn't have the same mentality. Sure, he's gonna do his best to make Ainge feel like he made a mistake by trading him away. But his love for what Boston allowed him to do for his career will always be cherished.

Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins captured some of Isaiah's comments about his feelings towards Boston and Danny Ainge:

When Sacramento let Thomas walk in 2014, he left town telling himself, "F--- Sacramento. I'm about to kill those dudes." When Phoenix exiled him the following winter, he pledged, "O.K., now they're gonna get it." But there will be no revenge tour this time.

"Boston is going to be all love," he vows, with one exception. "I might not ever talk to Danny again. That might not happen. I'll talk to everybody else. But what he did, knowing everything I went through, you don't do that, bro. That's not right. I'm not saying eff you. But every team in this situation comes out a year or two later and says, 'We made a mistake.' That's what they'll say, too."

Hearing him say this makes me really nervous. The last thing Isaiah needs (and this is coming from the perspective of a team who will now have to face him) is another chip on his shoulder. It seems like, with every "doubter" Thomas meets, he comes back to set their world on fire. And I'm not saying that Danny is an Isaiah Thomas "doubter" - because he obviously isn't. That's why he traded for him in the first place. For Danny, though, it was an opportunity to strengthen the team's long-term future. Of course, Isaiah believes that he was the best for the future of the Celtics, so he will certainly have some extra motivation to prove just that.

Honestly, I don't blame Isaiah for potentially not talking to Danny again. Not at all. When I first heard about this blockbuster deal, the first thing that ran through my mind (after some loud curse words) was "poor Isaiah." This man gave the Celtics everything he had. He suited up after the death of his sister to lead the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals. He fought through multiple playoff games while dealing with a hip injury. He successfully helped recruit talent for the Celtics over the past two summers. Thomas mentioned some of these points to Jenkins while he was describing his confusion towards the trade:

“I felt like I was building my own thing in Boston and we were close,” Thomas laments. “We were so close! Dang! That’s what hurts. We went from the lottery to the conference finals. We just got Hayward. We were right there. Think of all the national TV games we were about to have.” He slaps his side.

To do all of that for a franchise, only to have your boss trade you for what he believes is an upgrade, has gotta sting. Only time will tell whether that sting will remain as is, or slowly fades away.



Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32

Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Erik Johnson 10/11/2017 03:36:00 PM Edit
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