The former Boston Celtics All-Star point guard told Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach that when the two connected with Brooklyn Nets duo Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for “some high-level pickup games,” Thomas impressed mostly everyone in attendance. Thanks to a recent procedure on his right hip, Isaiah says he now has a full range of motion and is feeling like he’s truly back to his normal self.
“Those guys were like, ‘Damn, welcome back. You really look like yourself,’” Thomas recalled. “That only gave me more confidence to be able to play the game again. I mean, I was blowing by people. I haven’t blown by anybody since I had a Celtics uniform on. When I was able to blow by MVP-caliber players, which told me my burst and power and speed are there. I really feel like I’m back.”
Thomas, whose stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, and Wizards over the past few seasons, failed to meet the expectations he set for himself and everyone counting on an improbable comeback, says it’s different this time.
Isaiah Thomas On 2019-20: ‘I Had To Make People Believe I was OK’
Last year, Thomas would have said anything to latch onto another team, the weight of losing his final opportunity to play in the NBA again mounted heavily.
“I had to say that,” Thomas said. “If I didn’t say that, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the chances I did with Denver and the Wizards. People who were around me every day or had seen me before I got injured obviously knew I wasn’t myself. I was definitely feeling better but it wasn’t good enough, and I think people saw that. I knew, but I had to make people believe I was OK when I really wasn’t. But, this time around, I’m feeling really good, and people can see it for themselves.”
Thomas was waived after the Wizards traded him to the Los Angeles Clippers back in February. Last season, he averaged 12.2 points, 3.7 assists while shooting 41.3% from behind the arc in 40 games for Washington.
Does Isaiah Thomas Have One Final Comeback Left?
It was the most games he’s played in a single season since the 2017-18 campaign when he finished the regular season with the Lakers for 17 games after being traded by the Cavaliers mid-season. Thomas averaged 15.6 points in Los Angeles.
Still, in today’s NBA climate of an expedited offseason, it’s difficult to gauge what a market for a veteran scorer like Thomas will look like towards the end of free agency. Either way, Isaiah will remain positive and be patiently waiting.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “But I’m ready.”