Isaiah Thomas is in Boston for Game 1 of the Celtics-Bulls playoff series, but he is obviously playing with a heavy heart after the death of his sister, Chyna Thomas. TNT caught the above footage of an emotional Thomas just one hour before tip-off.
TNT’s Dennis Scott reported he looked good during the Celtics shoot around, and Thomas got emotional after the session was over. He was consoled by an assistant coach followed by a teammate.
We are just over 24 hours removed from Thomas learning of the passing of his sister in a tragic car accident.
Tears flowed down Thomas’ face in the moments leading up to introductions. He received a rousing ovation from the Boston faithful when he was announced to the crowd. According to TNT, he has “R.I.P. Little Sis” written on his shoe in honor of his sister. Here’s a look at Thomas being introduced to the home crowd:
During the game, Thomas received chants of “M-V-P” from fans as he shot free throws. The Celtics said Thomas will play but it unknown if Thomas will play his normal starters minutes. Celtics coach Brad Stevens noted it will be up to Thomas how much he wants to play.
Brad Stevens spoke with the Boston Herald about the outpouring of support Thomas has received.
I don’t think there’s any question that people around here have a great affinity for him and even in my short time here, you see that [when] really tough things happen to people, this community really rallies around them. So you can already feel that. You can already feel … you know, as I was at church this morning, I could feel people coming up to me, and they all wanted to know how he was doing and all talking about it. And when you get here, that’s all anybody wants to talk about. I think it’s going to be really emotional, but that’s part of what makes this place really special is they get it and I think they really appreciate Isaiah, and I know Isaiah really appreciates everybody here.
It is admirable Thomas is attempting to play through such tragic circumstances. Fans all over the country are sending their thoughts out to the Thomas family.
Here is a sampling of Twitter’s reaction: