Isaiah Thomas talks about criticism, and how it motivates him

Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas was recently featured by SLAM, in an interview with senior editor Abe Schwadron. Their conversations cover a myriad of topics, including being the smallest guy in the NBA and wishing the C's rolled into the Kevin Durant meeting with Al Horford already in tow. Thomas reflects on what's gotten him to this point, his goals as a player, and expressed his love for the fans in the city of Boston:

“The biggest difference is, it’s Boston,” Isaiah says. “They love sports. They treat you like a god out here. If you give it your all each and every night, they’re gonna respect you. That’s the difference between anywhere else I’ve ever been, these people here, they really love their sports, they really love their team, and it seems like they’ll die for you out here.”

Isaiah uses motivation from naysayers to fuel his drive to be better, and he thinks his height might be the biggest factor in why he gets more criticism than other All-Stars:

“They’re always gonna say something about my height. Even this summer around the Draft, some analyst said the Celtics should draft a point guard, and that point guard would be the best point guard on the Celtics,” Thomas continues, referring to ESPN’s Chad Ford, who suggested Boston ought to draft Providence’s Kris Dunn as an upgrade at the PG position. “It’s like, if anybody else was an All-Star and 6-1, you would never say that, and that’s what happens with being small. They always overlook you no matter what you do—unless you’re Allen Iverson.”

Brad Stevens noted that not only does Isaiah's motivation help him as a player, but it can have a positive effect on the entire team as well:

“I think the chip on your shoulder is contagious, if directed the right way,” adds Stevens. “There’s a pride that comes with being challenged—he constantly feels challenged and I think that’s a good, contagious thing for him and our whole team.”

Thomas isn't satisfied with being an All-Star, he's got loftier goals:

“I want to be an All-NBA player—that’s an individual goal for me,” Thomas explains. “I know with having a good team and a Playoff team, all the individual success will come with the work that I put in. Maybe one day I’ll be at the MVP level. Those are the next goals for me, and I always like to speak stuff into existence.”

If Thomas is fueled by people criticizing him for his size, his game, or whatever it may be, I really hope they keep providing it. Whatever he needs to keep the fire burning inside him that has made him so great in his time with the Celtics, lets make sure it doesn't stop. Let the naysayers charge up Isaiah all the way up to MVP levels, and maybe he can help snatch us banner 18 in the process.

Photo Credit - Buck Squibb, SLAM

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