It was when Thomas – a league MVP candidate – took a team on his back and, for the most part, carried it to unexpected heights, including a date with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals. No one had anticipated such a run from Boston.
Standing at 5-foot-9, he averaged 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game – unprecedented numbers for a player of his stature. Still, Thomas, alongside All-Star big man Al Horford, willed his team back from an 0-2 first-round deficit in its best-of-7 series against the Chicago Bulls and then avoided Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semis against John Wall, Bradley Beal, and the Washington Wizards.
But, when Thomas’ hip — that he had originally injured during the regular season — flared up in the Conference finals against the Cavs, the Celtics shut him down for the season, and Isaiah’s career hasn’t been the same since. After playing for four teams throughout the past three seasons, Thomas entered the 2020-21 campaign unsigned but still determined to latch onto an NBA team.
However, one team that Isaiah has seemingly ruled out is his former team; the Celtics.
Isaiah Thomas On Potential Return To Boston: ‘It’s Over For Coming Back’
After the Celtics’ heartbreaking 96-95 loss against the Los Angeles Lakers at TD Garden Saturday night, Boston-based writer Dan Greenberg of Barstool Sports called for Isaiah’s return to the Celtics (in light of Marcus Smart’s injury and Kemba Walker’s dreadful four points on 1-of-12 performance).
“As the leader of and driver of the @isaiahthomas bandwagon I understand it’s my responsibility to never stop until I speak it into existence,” Greenberg tweeted. “Challenge accepted.”
Less than 10 minutes later, Thomas himself, replied.
“I always appreciate the love bro,” Thomas tweeted. “I’ve tried to make it happen. It’s over for coming back, killa.”
I always appreciate the love bro. I’ve tried to make it happen. It’s over for coming back killa
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 31, 2021
This isn’t the first time Thomas has responded to a Celtics-related tweet calling for a Boston comeback, however, this is the first time Isaiah has ever rejected the idea. Perhaps, Thomas, at this point, understands that Brad Stevens’ depth chart at the guard position is plentiful, even if the Celtics will be without Smart for a couple of weeks or so while he nurses his left calf injury.
Or, maybe, Thomas’ eyes are set elsewhere. Either way, Greenberg isn’t the only one publically displaying enthusiasm over a potential Thomas comeback.
Jamal Crawford On Isaiah Thomas: ‘This Is The Best I’ve Seen You Since Boston’
Former star and 2x NBA Sixth Man of the Year winner Jamal Crawford says Isaiah is back, in almost every sense of the word. On the floor, Jamal, who’s seen Thomas in the action of late, says, that MVP-Isaiah is back.
“This is the best I’ve seen you since Boston, without a doubt,” Crawford tweeted. “They are all in for a surprise. I can’t wait to watch the show. Appreciate you bro!!”
You saying that, and this is the best I've seen you since Boston without a doubt. They are all in for a surprise 🤫. I can't wait to watch the show. Appreciate you bro!! 🙌🏾
— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) January 30, 2021
Isaiah Thomas Will Join USA Basketball
Thomas, who also made the USA Basketball roster for the final round of the AmeriCup qualifying next month, will head to San Juan, Puerto Rico to train next month.
The U.S. will face the Bahamas on Feb. 19 and Mexico on Feb. 20.