Isaiah Thomas frequently writes loving comments about his family on social media, lavishing his parents, sons, and new wife with praise.
He’s a newlywed, married to Kayla Wallace, his long-time girlfriend and mother to one of his sons.
Isaiah Thomas’ family was thrust into the news on April 15 after his sister, Chyna Thomas, died in a car crash on the eve of game one in the Boston Celtics/Chicago Bulls series. Isaiah Thomas is a point guard for the Boston Celtics team, which is scheduled to play against the Chicago Bulls in the NBA playoffs in Boston.
Who is the rest of Thomas’ family? Rounding out Thomas’ family: His parents, whom he often posts about on social media, his new wife, other siblings, and his children, James and Jaiden. Contrary to the belief of some, Thomas is not related to NBA star Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons, although he was named for him.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Chyna Was Thomas’ Youngest Sister but They Have a Different Mother
Chyna Thomas died on April 15 in a car accident on Interstate 5 in Tacoma, Washington, which is where Isaiah Thomas was born. According to Yahoo Sports, she was Thomas’ youngest sister.
She is technically his half sibling, as they share the same father but not the same mother.
KIRO7 reports that Chyna died at the scene and was not wearing a seatbelt. The vehicle drifted off the roadway and into a signpost, reported the television station. The cause is not yet clear. Chyna was 22.
The NBA posted a statement sending its regrets to the Celtics star and his family.
2. Thomas Is a Newlywed, Who Married Kayla Wallace in a Star-Studded Event
In August 2016, Thomas married Kayla Wallace, described as his “long-time girlfriend” by Celticsblog.com. He wrote on a wedding picture of the couple, “This was by far the best day of my life.”
“My life is complete now! #Blessed,” the basketball star wrote on another wedding photo of the couple that he posted to Instagram. He wrote on a post about his wife, “If it isn’t love, why do I feel this way? Why does she stay on my mind? I’m on my New Edition flow today lol.” Thomas frequently posts photos of Wallace on social media.
The couple married at Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle. The couple’s first dance was to Sade’s “By Your Side,” according to Essence Magazine. The magazine called the wedding “star-studded” because it was attended by other NBA players and athletes like Floyd Mayweather and noted that the couple’s wedding hashtag was “#littlepeoplebiglove” (Thomas stands 5 feet 9 inches tall.)
Thomas also posted pictures of the couple’s honeymoon.
On Kayla’s birthday, he wrote, “Happy birthday to my beautiful wife! You are getting old as hell lol. This is a Special day for a special person even though you think everyday is your birthday lol. Big twenty twenty twenty 29 (my voice) lol. I love you baby!”
He’s been posting love notes to her on social media for years. In 2013, he wrote, “Love Kayla Wallace! She has been by my side thru everything and I cant thank her enough. Also shes a great mother 2 my son Jaiden! #Blessed”
She posted pictures of their move from Phoenix to Boston. Player Wives says the couple had a “long courtship.”
3. Thomas Has Two Children & One Has Called Him ‘the Greatest Basketball Player’
Thomas and his wife were already the parents of a boy before they wed. According to Essence Magazine, their son is named Jaiden. Thomas also has another son, named James, who lives with his ex-girlfriend, according to Player Wives. Both boys attended Thomas’ wedding to Wallace.
Thomas has written about the importance of fatherhood. His Instagram profile says, “Proud Father! If all I’m remembered for is being a good basketball player, then I’ve done a bad job with the rest of my life.”
He frequently posts photos of his two sons. On one, he wrote, “I know they will always have my back no matter what!!!” His sons appeared at a press conference, charming the public, in 2016, with James saying that his dad is “the greatest basketball player.”
Kayla frequently posts loving comments on social media about both boys.
4. Thomas Has Thanked His Father, Also Named James, for ‘Showing Me How to Be a Man’ & His Father Named Him After Isiah Thomas
Thomas has praised his father on Instagram, writing on one picture of himself with his dad and sons, “Happy Father’s Day! Thanks pops for showing me how to be a man and take care of my responsibilities.” He also wrote, “Happy Father’s Day to my Pops, thanks for raising me into the man I am today!”
Thomas is not the son of Isiah Thomas, former Detroit Pistons point guard. His father’s name is James Thomas, and one of his sons was named after him.
His mother’s name is Tina Baldtrip, and Thomas often posts loving comments on social media about her as well. According to NESN.com, Thomas was named after Isiah Thomas, though. His father “was a Los Angeles native and a Lakers fan through and through before he moved to Tacoma, Wash., where Thomas was born,” NESN.com reports. “After the Lakers topped the Pistons in the 1988 NBA Finals, the elder Thomas made the ill-advised decision to bet a friend that his Lakers again would be victorious in ’89 — with no less than his unborn son’s name on the line.”
The father later decided he just liked the name but Thomas’ mother insisted that his name bear the extra “a” like the name appears in the Bible, NESN reports.
“The way I got my name. My dad is from Los Angeles, California, he’s a big Laker fan, and he made a wager that if the Detroit Pistons beat the Los Angeles Lakers, he would name his son Isiah Thomas,” the younger Isaiah said.
“We were betting, and I made a bet that I would name my son Isaiah Thomas if the Lakers lost. And the Lakers ended up losing,” Thomas’ father, James Thomas, confirmed in the video above, which reveals that Isaiah Thomas looked up Isiah’s highlights and wore his numbers growing up; opposing fans would sometimes troll him at games, thinking he was related. Now Isaiah considers Isiah a mentor, and they even text each other.
Chyna Thomas was the daughter of James Thomas and Isaiah’s stepmother, LaNita, according to The Boston Globe.
James and Tina “separated early in their son’s life,” according to Boston Magazine.
5. Thomas Was Born in Washington but Moved Away in High School to Pursue His Basketball Career
Thomas was born in Tacoma, Washington.
According to SBNation, “As a child he would rush home from church and sneak into his grandparents’ house to watch the Sunday afternoon games on NBC.”
He grew up in Washington State; “Thomas started working on his moves as far back as the fourth grade when he played on his first organized team back in Tacoma,” SBNation reported. In high school, the sports site reports, “he made the difficult decision to move cross-country and attend a prep school in Connecticut.”
The move meant he wouldn’t be with his parents for his final time in high school, but Seattle native and Knicks star Jamal Crawford “told Thomas’ parents he’d look out for their son on the East Coast,” according to SBNation.