Isaiah Thomas wants the world to know he's trying to get Kevin Durant


Isaiah Thomas wants the world to know he's trying to get Kevin Durant

Isaiah Thomas told the Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach he wants the world to know he's trying to get Kevin Durant to join the Boston Celtics.

That's why he tweeted Durant's No. 35 next to a green shamrock after the Thunder lost Game 7 to the Warriors. Thomas says he deleted the tweet because the timing wasn't right. But he does plan on doing everything he can to bring Durant to Boston.

"I know that was a tough series and a long season for him," Thomas said to the Globe. "I wouldn’t want anyone calling me up about the biggest decision of my life right after the season’s over. So I’ll probably give him some time and casually talk to him, and then go all-in."

After the Celtics fell to the Thunder earlier this season, Durant lingered in TD Garden. He spoke to reporters – without any microphones in his face -- about Kendrick Perkins’ time in Boston, and how much Perk lauded the city, the fans, and the organization. Durant then slowly walked down the hallways, which has pictures of Celtics legends on the walls, and was overheard saying to someone from his inner circle, “Man, there's a lot of history in this building.”

The positive remarks Durant has made publicly about the Celtics organization taught fans to dream Durant donning 'the green.' But it’s these behind the scenes moments that reveal he actually has actual genuine interest -- at least in the history of the Celtics.

Boston has what Durant is looking for with an elite head coach in Brad Stevens, a stable front office led by Danny Ainge, a rising roster featuring Isaiah Thomas, and arguably the best fan base in all of basketball.

There are perhaps only five other teams in the NBA with similar situations: the Thunder, Heat, Clippers, Spurs, and Warriors. Most of the other teams in the league have absolutely no chance at Durant because they lack one or all of those prerequisites.

Thomas’ recruiting may come up and short and the Celtics may end up not getting Durant, but all you can ask for is the opportunity to sign a Hall of Fame level talent in the prime of his career. The Celtics will likely have that, while most others won't.

Kevin O’Connor can be followed on Twitter: @KevinOConnorNBA

Thunder not taking shorthanded Celtics for granted

Thunder not taking shorthanded Celtics for granted

Oklahoma City All-Star Paul George knows the Boston Celtics team he and his Thunder teammates will face tomorrow night, won’t be at full strength.

But he’s wise enough to know if you focus too much on an opponent’s key losses to their roster, that same team can potentially hand you a loss which is the last thing the Thunder need right now in what’s shaping up to be a tightly contested Western Conference playoff race.

MORE - I.T. isn't ruling out return to C's

Currently fourth in the standings, only four games separate teams No. 3-8. Only Houston (56-14) and Golden State (53-17) have secured a postseason berth. 

Which means the Celtics won’t catch Oklahoma City sleeping on them heading into tomorrow night’s game. 

“We are going to address it the same way regardless of who's in there,” George said. “We got to pick these games up. We lost the game on our floor earlier this season.”

But that was early in the season when the Thunder were still trying to figure out how its newly formed core of Russell Westbrook, George and Carmelo Anthony, could mesh.

Oklahoma City has gotten stronger as the season progressed, and are one of the hottest teams around with six straight wins, the most recent being a 132-125 victory at Eastern Conference-leading Toronto. 

Meanwhile, Boston (47-23) has lost its last two games and three of four so from a momentum standpoint, the Thunder have every reason to feel as though they’ll emerge victorious tomorrow night. 

And they also have added motivation from their Nov. 3 matchup with the Celtics in Oklahoma City that ended with a 101-94 win for Boston. 

Westbrook had 19 points and 11 assists in that game but shot 7-for-20 from the field. Carmelo Anthony had 14 points but did so on a woeful 3-for-17 shooting. And then there was George’s 25 points on 9-for-20 shooting to go with 10 rebounds. 

“We have to show who we are,” George said.

Who they are, is a team that’s fighting for home court in at least the first round of the playoffs where they are currently fourth in the West. 

And their success in the last six games has been fueled by strong play at both ends of the floor. 


In that stretch, Oklahoma City is averaging 116.2 points which ranks second in the NBA during that span. Defensively, they are allowing 104.5 points which is the 10th-fewest allowed in the last six games.

“Just making the right plays, offensively and defensively” is how Westbrook described the team’s recent run of success. 

And the Thunder have every intention of keeping it going against a beat-up Celtics squad that they know they can’t take lightly. 

“Again, we are playing really well,” George said. “A step back if we lose no matter who's in or who's out would hurt us.”


Ainge: 'Setback' wrong word to use about Hayward

Ainge: 'Setback' wrong word to use about Hayward

When is a setback not a setback?

When Danny Ainge says, "You know what? Sometimes I talk too much," Ainge told the Boston Herald over the weekend. "'Setback' wasn't the right word, so let me rephrase that because it's not exactly true to say it - or say it that way.

The Celtics president of basketball operations, in his weekly radio interview with Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub and simulcast on NBC Sports Boston, used that word when he was describing how Gordon Hayward is coming along in his recovery. 

"He had like one setback for a couple of weeks, maybe a month and a half ago," Ainge said on the radio last week. "We were progressing a little bit too fast, we thought."

Ainge clarified that to the Herald's Steve Bulpett. 

"What happened is he went on the AlterG [anti-gravity treadmill] the first day and he felt some soreness," he said. "It was the first day he tried the AlterG, a long time ago. He just wasn't ready for it at that point. That's all it was."

Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been adamant that Hayward, recovering from his gruesome leg and ankle injury in the season opener, will not play for the Celtics this season. On Sunday, Stevens, via MassLive.com's Jay King, characterized Stevens' soreness as a "small" issue.