Fred Hoiberg storms off podium after question about Isaiah Thomas

Fred Hoiberg storms off podium after question about Isaiah Thomas

Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg knows how to make a press conference eventful.

A reporter asked whether Hoiberg saw Isaiah Thomas carry the ball on Wendesday night after the Boston Celtics' defeated the Bulls, 108-97, in Game 5.

"No," Hoiberg said, and immediately left the press coference.

This comes after Hoiberg insisted Thomas was an "impossible cover" during Game 4, because the referees were failing to call carrying fouls.

"Isaiah Thomas is a hell of a player, an unbelievable competitor," Hoiberg said after Game 4 Sunday. "He's a warrior with everything he's going through right now. He had a hell of a game tonight. But when you're allowed to discontinue your dribble on every possession, he is impossible to guard. He is impossible to guard. When you're allowed to put your hand underneath the ball and take two or three steps and put it back down, it's impossible to guard him in those situations."

Thomas, who finished Game 5 with 24 points, five rebounds, four assists and no carrying fouls, disagreed with Hoiberg's comments. Thomas' sons attended the press conference after Game 4 and giggled at Hoiberg's frustrations.

“I was very surprised,” Thomas said after practice Thursday. “Out of everything else that I do on the court, you want to bring that up. It is what it is. I’m going to continue to dribble the ball the way I know how.”

He added: “Dwyane Wade, Rondo, LeBron (James) … I dribble just like everybody else."

Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum had another strong performance for the Boston Celtics, doing so against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Paul George, a player Tatum has acknowledged on more than one occasion he has looked up to. 

That admiration didn’t get in the way of Tatum delivering a big-time performance in helping Boston rally from six points down with 12.7 seconds to play, to knock off the Thunder 100-99.

Tatum tallied a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds. And doing so at 20 years and 17 days old, Tatum became the youngest player in franchise history to tally at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game.

“It feels good,” Tatum said when asked about his first 20-plus point, 10-plus rebound game in the NBA. “But honestly, I’m just glad we won. That was a big win against a great team and it was fun playing out there today.”

Impacting the game on multiple levels offensively along with being a defensive and rebounding force are qualities often associated with George who became familiar with Tatum prior to last June’s NBA draft which is when the Celtics selected him with the third overall pick. 

“I reached out to him before he was coming into this draft and I got to talk to him,” said George, who had 24 points and a game-high 13 rebounds against the Celtics. “It’s an honor when you see young talent. I‘ve been inspired by many in this league so it’s great to inspire the younger generation in this league.”

And while Tatum may be young, he continues to prove himself up for whatever challenges await him. 

“We are going to keep throwing to the wolves and keep going to him in those moments,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

Boston closed out the game with an 8-1 spurt in the final 24.7 seconds, with Tatum either scoring or assisting on five of those points which includes assistant on Marcus Morris’ game-winner.

Tatum’s composure down the stretch comes from being influenced by many, including George who considers it “an honor” that Tatum holds him in high regard. 

“At the end of the day, us veteran guys want the younger guys to take the game further and advance much farther than what I was,” George said. “There’s going to be kids looking up to Jayson (Tatum) that are probably already looking up to Jayson (Tatum).”


NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Kyrie Irving getting second opinion on injured knee

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Kyrie Irving getting second opinion on injured knee

1:15 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins Gary Tanguay and Trenni Kusnierek to discuss Kyrie Irving getting a second opinion on his injured knee and what the Kyrie’s options are for the remainder of the season.

5:53 - Kyle Draper and Brian Scalabrine break down the Celtics stunning last second comeback win over the Thunder with multiple key players sitting out.

10:27 - Tom Curran and Jerod Mayo stop by Early Edition to play a game of Fill in the Blank that involves Gronkowski’s contract and the Patriots best offseason acquisition.