Since news broke about the tragic passing of Isaiah Thomas’ sister, Chyna Thomas, there has been an outpouring of support from fans and fellow NBA players. It is difficult to imagine trying to play a basketball game 24 hours after learning of your sister’s death.
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reports the Celtics expect Thomas to play today barring something changing prior to game time. Goodman emphasized the team’s greater concern is with Thomas the person and are less concerned with his status for Game 1 of the Celtics-Bulls playoff series. Thomas learned of the news after Saturday’s practice.
Thomas participated in the Celtics’ walkthrough and is expected to be in the lineup tonight. It is important to note that while Thomas is expected to play tonight the situation is fluid given the emotional circumstances.
NBA Comissioner Adam Silver expressed his condolences through a statement after news broke of the death.
“The NBA family mourns the tragic passing of Chyna Thomas and we send our deepest condolences to Isaiah, his family and the Celtics organization during this difficult time,” Silver said in the statement.
Thomas has been one of the NBA’s rising stars since being selected as the last pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Thomas is averaging 28.9 points, 5.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds heading into the playoffs. He was named to the All-Star team.
After playing for the Kings and Suns, Thomas was traded to the Celtics in 2015. He spoke with the Undefeated about what it was like in Boston after he was traded.
They loved me for who I am. They loved me for being a scorer. They loved me for being small. They loved me for what I bring to the table. There was no, ‘He can’t do this. He can’t do that.’ You don’t hear that too much other than from the media. But my teammates and my coaching staff loved me for who I am. That was the first time that happened since college, honestly.
Here’s a sampling of the tweets that were sent Thomas’ way after news broke of his sister’s death: