This Is For Boston
It took a while, but former Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas has finally let his thoughts on the trade from Boston to Cleveland be known. In a piece written on The Player’s Tribune, IT leaves nothing to the imagination as he tells us exactly how the trade went down from his perspective.
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) September 6, 2017
For me, I had always thought that it sucked that IT was traded, but I completely understood and agreed with why he was traded. This article, no doubt, made it harder to deal with the trade. I was certainly trying to avoid the emotional aspect of the deal, but there was no denying that once I started reading.
An Impact Like No Other
Isaiah Thomas made more of an impact on the city of Boston faster than any player before him in only two and a half years. Isaiah was already being talked about in the same sentence as Tom Brady and David Ortiz and he hadn’t even won a championship yet. It’s actually crazy when you take a step back and look at it that way. We will never know if he could have reached that same level, but to even be mentioned with those guys in that short amount of time in just incredible.
Without Isaiah Thomas, this Celtics team is not sitting where it is today. This team may even be still sitting in the lottery trying to rebuild and make the playoffs. Perhaps Danny would have been more apt to send out more picks for superstar sooner, but IT put this team back on the map.
Without him, the Celtics don’t reach the playoffs, don’t become the number one seed in the East, don’t sign Al Horford, don’t sign Gordon Hayward and obviously don’t acquire Kyrie Irving. And that’s the kicker. That is where this is so hard. Isaiah to us might have been the next great Celtic, maybe even to Danny Ainge and the ownership, but instead he was a transitional piece. Exactly what he was called when he came here. That in no way is meant as a dig towards IT either, his impact is historic, but he was traded out in favor of a younger, equally, if not more skilled point guard. IT turned this organization around and made it relevant again and nobody will forget that.
Isaiah talks about loyalty and Kevin Durant and how fans attack those players for leaving, but teams can turn around and trade you in a heartbeat. Everything he says is spot on and true. It is a business and players can leave any team when they want and teams can trade them away when they want. The difference though is the fans don’t always see it as a business. Fans get so emotionally attached to these players that they feel like they know them, especially in Boston. And while fans may become so angry that they burn jerseys, they do it because they feel like they are losing someone they know and care about so much. Yes, some people do it for attention, but most fans are heartbroken when their favorite player leaves and sometimes equate that to disloyalty.
The management of teams don’t have to deal with feeling attached or being disloyal. They can make the decision and feel confident that is the correct move for the organization. Nothing will ever change that. In the end, fans will eventually understand why the player left or was traded, but they will be hurt for a while, and Isaiah got to learn how that feels from his perspective. As he said, he fell in love with the city and it truly hurt and still does hurt him to be traded. It will hurt and he will be sad and mad, but he is eventually going to understand why.
The Brinks Trucks
I truly believe that if IT never talked about backing up the Brinks trucks (multiple times), then he would still be a Celtic. That was his biggest mistake. And while a healthy IT is a max guy, a potentially unhealthy one isn’t. If IT doesn’t play a full season at 100% it would be very hard for the Celtics to offer him the max and therefore makes so much sense trading him. I am a very big fan of Kyrie Irving and love the addition, but I will truly miss Isaiah Thomas.
A Lasting Impact
I like to imagine that sometime not long from now, somewhere in Boston, someone is going to be a parent, talking basketball to their kid. And their kid is going to ask them, point-blank like kids do, you know, “Yo — why you become a Celtics fan?”
And that parent, man, they’re going to think back to themselves — really think on it. And then they’re going to smile, and tell the truth.
“I saw Isaiah Thomas play.”
That would make me very happy. For me, I think, that’d be enough.
If this is all Isaiah wants, then he achieved this and then some. Before he even left, I remember talking and saying with people that someday we’ll be able to sit down with our children or grandchildren, whoever it is, and tell them we got to watch this 5’9 guy dominate like no one has ever seen, This guy that was counted out again and again, proved everyone wrong and went from the last pick in the draft to one of the best players in the league…and he did it in Boston, while making them a contender again. IT, you have made more on an impact on Boston than you even know.
A New Type Of Rivalry
I’mma just say this here, point-blank, to get it over with — and then you can go ahead and post it on whatever bulletin boards you want to: You are not going to want to mess with the Cavs this year. This is going to be a great year to be a Cavs fan, a great year. And I’m excited.
After I read this quote, I actually got a little excited to watch the Celtics go up against IT and the Cavs. It reminded me of the feeling you got when you were little and were about to play on of your good friends in the town baseball or basketball league. You got a little more fired up, it meant a little more, but you were still great friends…you just wanted to beat him. I feel like this again speaks to the impact IT left on Boston. We love him, he meant so much to this city and even now that he is in Cleveland on another team, we still feel connected to him. But, boy, do we still want to beat him. We’ll see you out there IT, can’t wait to get this thing started!
And once again, thank you for everything! – Boston