Now I know this name leaves a foul taste in most Washington Wizards fans after the 2017 playoffs series against the Boston Celtics, when the Wizards were only one game away from the Eastern Conference finals. I think we can all agree that Isaiah Thomas was a true hero for his franchise that season. Nevertheless, the way his team treated him after that season was over was grotesque. I feel like I am obligated to talk about the mistreatment he had and is currently receiving from the NBA.
It’s not like there haven’t been any other players in recent history who haven’t been done wrong by the NBA. Players such as Demar Derozan and Kawhi Leonard, neither of which wanted to end up on the teams they are playing for currently. Derozan, the best player on his team, stayed loyal to his franchise but gets traded to the Spurs for Leonard; who will only be there for a year is pretty grimy. However, the way the Celtics treated Thomas after he pretty much single-handedly dragged his team to the Eastern Conference Finals is ridiculous.
Thomas, in the 2017 NBA season, averaged 28.9 points on 46.3% shooting and 5.9 assists. Also, need I mention that he was a runner for MVP behind Lebron and Leonard, placing 5th based off of his stellar play. Right before the first game of the NBA playoffs in 2017 Thomas got the news his sister died in a car crash. Even after receiving such horrible news Isaiah still tied up his laces and played through the heartbreak. He led his team to the ECF against Lebron averaging 23.3 points; even dropping a whopping 53 points on none other than the Wizards. Now a couple games into the ECF he got diagnosed with a hip injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the postseason and guess what he did? He played through it!
However, he didn’t do so good only averaging 13 points a game and eventually getting bounced out by the Cavs in 6. This decision to play through the injury has impacted his career ever since. Boston knew he wasn’t going to be the same but the Cavs didn’t. That’s why there was no hesitation to trade him to the Cavs for Kyrie Irving.
The next season Lebron wants to find some new teammates so he gets rid of Isaiah; who then goes to Lakers and played 17 games under Lonzo Ball, the Lakers franchise point guard. In 6 out those 17 games he scored 20+ points.
Now Lebron is in LA and bringing with him along Rajon Rondo, another solid point guard, which eventually leads to Isaiah going to Denver and signing the veterans minimum. Thomas signed a 1-year, $2 million contract to play for the Denver Nuggets. That’s absolutely ridiculous when he was on pace to sign a max $100 million deal with the Celtics. But he decided to play through his injury and heartbreak for his franchise instead of letting it heal naturally and now he is stuck.