Last week on Thursday Isaiah Thomas agreed to terms on a year contract with the Denver Nuggets. The contract is a veteran minimum contract and will pay him a little bit over 2 million dollars. Wow how things can change so quickly in the world of professional sports.
Two seasons ago Isaiah Thomas had not only his best season as a pro, but one of the best seasons by a guard in NBA history. He was named second team all NBA, he was an all-star, and finished 5th in MVP voting.
The future looked great for Thomas so much so that he was quoted as saying the Celtics were going to have to “ back the brinks truck up if they wanted to sign him”. During a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves back in March 2017 he injured his hip. Several media reports stated that he could’ve elected for surgery, but Thomas decided to play through the injury while receiving treatment. If that wasn’t bad enough during the playoffs his sister tragically loses her life in a car accident. Thomas didn’t miss a game and continued play through not only physical pain from his hip, but emotional and spiritual pain after losing his sister. The pain from the hip became something he could not play through any longer and the decision was made for him to shut it down for the rest of the playoffs.
Thomas decided not to have surgery, and instead elected for a long strenuous rehab process. During the process the Celtics decided to not pay Thomas long term, but instead trading him and dumping him on the Cavaliers.
Thomas had showed loyalty to the organization playing through pain and personal tragedy, while becoming a folk hero and fan favorite in Boston. That’s why I always say there is no loyalty in professional sports. For the Celtics is was a smart business move not to pay 5’7” inch point guard coming off a hip injury 30 million dollars a year.
Thomas’s tenure would be short live in Cleveland as he was portrayed as a problem inside the Cavs locker room. There was also plenty of speculation on how him and LeBron did not get along, and for these reasons he was traded to he Lakers. He had some moments that flashed back to his great play in Boston, when he was the leagues most dominant fourth quarter player. Ultimately he’s season would end short as he finally decided to have hip surgery.
Now Thomas is a Denver Nugget reuniting with Mike Malone who was his coach in Sacramento. The Nuggets have a promising young back court in Jamal Murray and Gary Harris. They also resigned Jokic long term one of the most versatile bigs in the league. Thomas needs comes in with the mind set of being an explosive offensive player of bench, and focus on showing teams that his hip is healthy. If Thomas takes heed to my advice and plays well he will be in line to sign a bigger contract next summer.
Unfortunately Thomas will probably never see that big payday that he was in line for. This situation proves once and for all that there is no loyalty in sports, but with that being said Isaiah Thomas I am rooting for you my brother.