Before I start my rant, just know that Isaiah Thomas used to hold a special place in my heart for what he did to bring a winning culture back to Celtics basketball. I cheered for him during his time in Boston, and loved that at 5″9, he proved everyone wrong.
Thomas played with his heart on his tattoo sleeve and left everything on the court. How many players would play in a game the day after their sister died in a tragic car accident? How many players would continue to play in a game where their tooth gets knocked out of their skull? How many players get tossed around like a ragdoll, but get back up and brushes it off? No too many. He carried this team to the Eastern Conference Finals and had an amazing postseason run.
Although Thomas was loved in Boston, he simply was not good enough to help us win a championship. He was good enough to trade, though. We needed a player with has playoff and finals experience, a multiple time all-star, someone whose potential is through the roof.
Enter: Kyrie Irving. Kyrie is a player that is head and shoulders (pun intended) better than Thomas. This trade would eventually lead to me starting to like I.T. less and less with each passing day.
Recently, Isaiah Thomas came out and said that he will never speak to Danny Ainge again:
“I might not ever talk to Danny again. That might not happen. I’ll talk to everybody else. But what he did, knowing everything I went through, you don’t do that, bro. That’s not right. I’m not saying eff you. But every team in this situation comes out a year or two later and says, ‘We made a mistake.’ That’s what they’ll say, too.”
Danny Ainge had no clue about this and responded with, “You know, that’s the hard part of the job… I know that there’s a lot of feelings that go on when these type of things happen as a player who was traded twice. So, I understand his sentiments, but you guys know how much I love Isaiah. He’s a great kid and I wish him the best.”
Just reading this quote doesn’t do it justice. Listen to the pure emotion in Ainge’s words:
I have a huge problem with this. This Isaiah quote stinks out loud for many reasons. Of course, it must be terrible for him to get traded away from the team he put so much time into and everything, but let’s not forget I.T.’s past with this team that in hindsight, makes this looks incredibly selfish…
He Took Full Responsibility for the Hayward Signing. The second Gordon Hayward signed with the Celtics, Isaiah took complete responsibility for it. He said that he was scouting Gordon and delivered an awesome sales pitch. He clearly wanted the Western All-Star even though that meant that we would have to get rid of Avery Bradley. As soon as we signed Hayward, Celtics fans knew that Avery was out the door.
Did I.T. care? No of course not. Do you know why? It’s because this was a business decision that made the Celtics a better team. The only difference was that he was still on the team at this point, so it benefitted him. He was proud of getting Hayward even though a former friend that consoled him during such a horrible time of Thomas’ life was as good as gone.
He understood that getting rid of Bradley was a business decision, but when he leaves it becomes a personal attack? I mean come on now, let’s grow up a little bit. Getting rid of Thomas and replacing him with a much better basketball player was a business decision. Thomas may not realize it, but he is not better than Kyrie. The Celtics saw an opportunity to sign a better player and took it, which is the exact same thing that happened with the Bradley deal.
How about the fact that during the entire season, I.T. openly said that he deserves a max contract and that the Celtics better pay him or else he is walking out? How in the world were the fans okay with him saying this? Every single day he would post in his story something along the lines of “That slow grind,” “Better bring the brink truck,” or “‘Bout to get paid!” Although I.T. believes that he is a max contract player, he simply is not. He is too small, does not play defense, and is not a player that a team can build around if they want to win championships, all qualities that max contract players need.
Did people let Isaiah say all of these remarks about his contract because they fell in love with him? Were they blinded by the reality of I.T. not being the piece the Celtics need to win championships? Why was he ever allowed to call out our front office!?!? All of this will forever puzzle my mind as Thomas was allowed to disrespect the front office of the team that made him into the NBA talent he is today.
Letting Thomas go can be simplified into one sentence: Danny Ainge did not value Thomas as much as he valued himself. Ainge, like logical Celtics fans, knew they couldn’t win with I.T. so they had to get rid of him. This leads into my next point. I will never understand what Isaiah Thomas was going through during the playoffs after losing his sister. It amazes me that he not only played, but dominated. I will forever respect I.T. for his courageous efforts he put into the 2017 NBA Playoffs. However,, just because you are going through tough times in your personal life does not mean that you are considered to be untouchable.
People in business get fired or transferred all the time, and I am sure they have issues with their personal lives. Do they go through extremes such as losing a loved one? No, not always, but maybe. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t allowed to get fired to better the company. This is exactly what happened with the Celtics. They saw a chance to better their team and had to take the opportunity when it was available despite what Isaiah was going through. So when he says, “…But what he did knowing what I went through, you don’t do that bro” it drives me crazy. Boston loved you. Your teammates loved you. Danny Ainge loved you. The thing is we love championships more.
This was not a personal attack no matter what Isaiah Thomas thinks. At the end of the day, almost every relationship in the NBA is a business one, despite how personal they can feel. Of course, the relationships can be personal, but it is always business first. We appreciate everything Isaiah Thomas has done for the Celtics and will forever cheer him on, but if you attack us, then we will turn on you in a heartbeat. Isaiah should stop acting like a child and take a step back to see that this was strictly business. I hope Thomas comes back and plays well for Cleveland. I really do. However, if he continues to attack the city that made him, that opinion can change in a heartbeat.
If you want to listen to a bunch of idiots ramble on about the NBA and just how awesome it is, then listen to my podcast Parkball Heroes on Soundcloud. If you want to listen to strictly Boston Celtics talk, listen to my other podcast Shamrock Shakedown on Soundcloud as well.