Isaiah Thomas is clearly hurting, and it’s not just his hip.
In an interview with SI’s Lee Jenkins, Isaiah opened up about the trade to Cleveland, his hip injury, and his pursuit of superstardom.
About his hip, he said “No doubt about it, I should have sat out the playoffs,” he says. “No way around it, I made it worse.”
About superstardom, he said “I just gotta get healthy and show the world again. That’s not a question for me. It’s only a question for everybody else.”
But his comments about the trade were where the pain is really most evident.
“I’ve been looking at this wall for five hours,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens texted Thomas after the trade, “trying to figure out what to say to you.” When Sacramento let Thomas walk in 2014, he left town telling himself, “F— Sacramento. I’m about to kill those dudes.” When Phoenix exiled him the following winter, he pledged, “O.K., now they’re gonna get it.” But there will be no revenge tour this time. “Boston is going to be all love,” he vows, with one exception. “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.”
There are other quotes in this fantastic piece that further illustrate how much Isaiah Thomas bought into Boston and how he feels he was wronged for being traded.
He clearly understands this is a business, and that point has been hammered home to him this summer, but I have no doubt that he still has private moments wondering if he should have done something differently.
Here’s Isaiah Thomas, who wowed doctors by even playing last postseason, admitting that he shouldn’t have been out there. His competitive drive is so strong that he excelled when he should have been sitting is also the thing that put him in a position to be traded. We, and maybe he, have to wonder if Ainge would have gone so all-in on Kyrie had Thomas skipped the playoffs, avoided a re-re-aggravation of the injury against Washington, and been ready to go on opening night. Would a healthy-on-October 17 Isaiah been traded? Would it have also required the Brooklyn pick? Jae Crowder?
There are a lot of questions still lingering in the wake of Isaiah-for-Kyrie. It’s obvious many of them are still inside Isaiah’s head after all this.