To quote Will Smith in “The pursuit of happyness”, “When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” and that’s exactly what Isaiah Thomas has done throughout his life.
At 5’9, Isaiah Thomas was doubted by many when he wanted to become an All-star basketball player in NBA. Let this be a tribute to one courageous baller who proved that basketball isn’t just a tall man’s game and in the interim, be a motivational story for whoever, eagerly waiting for some push to perceive what their hearts desire the most.
After having a successful, impressive college basketball career with an average of 16.4 points, Thomas was on the verge of getting drafted into an NBA franchise but his bid came with heartache. He was passed on by many franchises without being selected, as they undermined him for his size and so he was the last pick in the 2011 draft. Eventually Sacramento Kings became his first home.
After 3 years with the Kings, being the first ever last pick to be the Rookie of the Month in NBA history in his rookie season and with the final year being his best, averaging 20.3 points and 6.3 assists per game, Thomas was traded to Phoenix Suns in late July, 2014.
His skills didn’t come off in a Suns jersey as he was again traded to the Boston Celtics in February, 2015. Even after suffering an ankle injury at Phoenix, Thomas performed at a high level, shooting his career high 3 point percentage of 39.1% which landed him a spot at NBA skills challenge at the All-star weekend.
It was at Bean City that IT became who he is. He’s always been playing his heart out. Doubters were proved wrong again and again as Thomas only knew how to get better day after day. Since 2015, IT averaged 19, 22.2 and 28.9 points per game in 3 consecutive years as a Celtic and his last season was capped off with a carrier high of 46.3% field goal percentage and a 90.9% free throw percentage.
On 15th April, 2017 Chyna Thomas; Isaiah’s sister died in a car crash and if it wasn’t gruesome enough, Celtics were scheduled to face the Chicago Bulls in the first round of playoffs the very next day. Despite of the tremendous sorrow he had to deal with, IT stepped on the court to a deafening cheer from the green clad fans and he went onto score 33 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds. On his shoes, were the scribbled words, “Chyna”, “RIP Lil sis” and “I love you”. Despite the 106-102 loss the Celtics suffered, Thomas left the court with MVP chants blowing off the roofs at Boston.
Life doesn’t always give you what you want and what you ask for. It was no different for IT. Celtics advanced to the 2nd round in playoffs beating Bulls 4-2 in the first round and were skillful enough to beat the Wizards in a 7-game series only to meet Lebron James led Cavs in the Eastern conference finals and were swept 4-0. In game 2 of the 7-game series, Isaiah walked gingerly off the court as he tore the labrum in his hip, bumping into Kevin Love and aggravating his injury which he suffered two months earlier.
Since then the world turned upside down for IT. Amidst all the struggles Thomas had to put up just to walk, he was knocked off his feet as he was traded again from Boston in late July after ending up 4th on the MVP voting list for 2016-17 and gaining his first All-star appearance in his carrier.
After leaving everything on the court and getting hurt for the sake of the franchise, Thomas couldn’t approve the move made by Danny Ainge; Celtics president of basketball operations but he never held a grudge as he had too much respect for the city for giving him a chance to rise to a level that suited his skills.
At the end of the day, it was a business move by a business man.
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) December 20, 2017
Through a span of 7 months Thomas was on rehabilitation from his hip injury and on 3rd of January, 2018 he made his debut as a Cavalier against the Portland Trailblazers, checking in for a massive standing ovation from the crowd and scoring 19 points in just 17 mins which wasn’t expected by many as he showed that he was never damaged goods.
After skipping the match up against the Celtics, IT made his first starting five appearance last night against Orlando Magic stuffing the stat sheet with 19 points, 4 assists and 2 rebounds in 21 minutes and leaving the doubters and haters speechless.
Thank you God for waking me up and starting me on my way… Let’s be GREAT today! #Blessed
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 2, 2018
IT had a dream to become an NBA player and he achieved it without sitting back and letting the rest of the world decide his fate. He took matters into his own hands and rocked the ring at 5’9″. If you have the skills, heart, dedication and faith in yourself, there’s nothing you can’t achieve. You need proof? Isaiah Thomas is a living example. Sometimes NBA teaches you more than sick handles and moves.
Until next week, keep balling!