Isaiah Thomas: 'nobody can guard me,' wishes he was on Team USA, raves about Marcus Smart's intangibles

Isaiah Thomas recently gave a phone interview with Sports Illustrated's Andy Gray.  Among other things, Isaiah discussed who the best defenders in the league are--spoiler, he picked his teammates, Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley.

When asked if there are any defenders he fears in the NBA, Thomas responded:

No, because nobody can guard me so it doesn’t really matter. But Avery and Marcus are two great defenders and I’m happy they’re on my team.

He elaborated on Smart:

What he has ... what he’s talented at, you can’t teach. It's all the intangibles. He works hard. He’s a great teammate. And I’d put him up against anybody in the NBA for one possession. He thinks he can guard anybody and that’s a special mindset to have. I’m glad he’s on my team and I can compete against him every day. He’s getting better - physically and mentally - so I’m happy for his future and hopefully he’s ready for the season. 
Smart can guard multiple positions whether it be taking on Paul Millsap like he did in our series against Atlanta or even guarding [Kristaps] Porzingis on the Knicks. He’s a guy who doesn’t back down from anybody. And Avery, he’s the best on-ball defender there is. There’s no question about that. Put him against anybody and they’ll have trouble against him.

Thomas was also asked if he wishes he was playing in the Olympics for Team USA:

Yes, I wish I was part of the team. Hopefully for the next Olympics I could be in consideration. I’m ready for the opportunity and hope it comes my way. But I’m definitely rooting for those guys to bring the gold home.

This Celtics fan in Rio clearly agrees:

With only two point guards on the roster and Harrison Barnes sitting worthlessly on the end of the bench, it seems as though Isaiah might've been a good fit.  Thomas could prove especially useful at helping the squad pick up the pace a bit, a strategy I highly recommend for coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Follow Mark Van Deusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan