It may not have been on the NBA hardwood, but 81 points is still 81 points.
Isaiah Thomas laced up his Nike Kobe 6 Protro “BHM” this past weekend in Seattle, channeled his Black Mamba mentality, and reminded the world that the former two-time All-Star can still put the ball in the basket.
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Participating in Jamal Crawford’s The Crawsover Pro-Am League, Thomas poured in 40 points by halftime, and by the end of regulation notched an absurd 81 points — of course, reminiscent of Bryant’s all-time 81-point performance against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.
Thomas was not only dropping buckets during his brilliant showing but bodies as well. Have a look at this nasty crossover and a handful of jaw-dropping plays that set the crowd ablaze and further immortalized Thomas’ performance, via Bleacher Report and BallisLife:
Fittingly enough, Thomas’ outing comes mere days after the 32-year-old took to Twitter to reminisce on the loss of his late-great friend.
Thomas’ most recent NBA stint came on a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans this past season. The Washington native appeared in three games over that span, notching double digits twice and averaging 7.7 points per game — all while donning Bryant’s No. 24 jersey number.
Latest on the Thomas-Celtics Reunion Talks
Thomas’ 81-point outing comes one week after his 65-point showing at an Atlantic Pro-Am game. The latter is what kickstarted chatter of the 2017 All-NBA second-team selection possibly reuniting with his former team, the Celtics.
“Boston, I’m told, has interest in an Isaiah Thomas reunion, with new Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens known to be one of Thomas’ biggest fans,” longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein wrote — likely bringing joy to more than a few Celtics faithful.
However, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix quickly rained on the parade. Appearing on WEEI’s Ordway, Merloni, and Fauria Show, Mannix pushed back on the notion that the Celtics would be interested in signing Thomas, noting “I just don’t see how he winds up back in Boston.”
“Brad Stevens does feel a certain loyalty to Isaiah Thomas for what he did for that team in 2017 — playing hurt, pushing them into the conference finals. There’s definitely an attachment there,” he said, via Boston.com. “The problem is that we’ve got a pretty good look at what Isaiah is a basketball player right now. He’s just not close to the player that he was during his best years in Boston.”
Celtics Fans Call for Thomas Signing as Need at Point Guard Remains
If contract talks with Dennis Schroder end up panning out, Thomas can almost certainly kiss the idea of a Celtics deal goodbye. Then again, even if they don’t, Boston is likely more than content with rolling out Payton Pritchard as the team’s first guard off the bench behind perceived starter Marcus Smart.
Yet, while the chances of a Thomas reunion remain slim, that hasn’t stopped Celtics fans from coming out of the woodwork to bang the table for the organization to take one more swing at their former MVP candidate.