The 2017 playoffs weren’t easy for then-Celtic Isaiah Thomas. He played the day after finding out that his sister died. He played through injury. Thomas played when most players would have taken the game, series or entire postseason off. He played because that’s what he’s always done – overcome adversity. Thomas, 5-foot-9 and drafted at the Mr. Irrelevant position in the NBA Draft, might have the biggest chip on his shoulder of all time. His grit and determination have taken him far – he was an All-NBA player last season. This time around, though, Thomas was slapped in the face with a cold dose of reality; he was traded away from the franchise for which he had become a cornerstone, and he’s had to sit out the entirety of this season (thus far) due to injury.
Looking back, Thomas – perhaps for the first time in his life – regrets fighting through adversity. In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Thomas said that if he could do it over, he would sit out the entirety of the playoffs.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 25, 2017
“No matter what, I’ve always played through injury. If I went back and could do it again, I would have sat out the playoffs, ’cause I would have been playing right now. I would have been 100 percent healthy.”
When questioned, Thomas also admitted that he wished he would have received more information from the Boston Celtics’ training staff about the severity of his injury. He says that, had he known that playing through the injury could have led to him missing this much time, he “definitely wouldn’t have played” in the playoffs.
Now with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Thomas is preparing to make his season debut. While no date has been set for his return to the hardwood, it’s clear that he’s getting close; he went through layup lines (fully suited up) before Cleveland’s contest vs. the Chicago Bulls last Thursday. He’s also gotten his bounce back; a video of the diminutive guard effortlessly throwing down some dunks in the Cavs’ practice on Dec. 24 has surfaced.
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) December 25, 2017