BOSTON – Danny Ainge has made no secret about how difficult it was for him to tell Isaiah Thomas that he had been traded to Cleveland in a deal that centered around Boston acquiring four-time all-star Kyrie Irving.
“It was one of the most difficult conversations I ever had,” Ainge told CSN's Kyle Draper and Brian Scalabrine following last week’s introductory press conference for Irving and Gordon Hayward. “I.T., everybody in Boston is grateful for I.T. and all that he’s done.”
Thomas has remained relatively quiet on his feelings about the trade.
However, he did provide some insight into how Ainge broke the news to him, on an Instagram video posted on Tuesday.
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Apparently Thomas initially missed the call from Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations.
“I called him back,” Thomas said in his Instagram video which lasted about one minute. “He was like, ‘How’s your life?’
Thomas recalled saying, “I just got back home; I’m straight.”
And then Ainge, according to Thomas said, “I just traded you.”
As much as having a player with Irving's talent will be to the Celtics, the contributions made by Thomas to this franchise in his two-plus seasons will not be forgotten anytime soon.
In fact, the players that now constitute Boston’s Big Three – Irving, Al Horford and Gordon Hayward – are all here in part because of Thomas’ play (Irving) and ability to convince them (Horford and Hayward) to come to Boston and be part of something special.
“We wouldn’t be here today with Kyrie and Gordon and Al Horford, if I.T. didn’t exist,” Ainge said. “If I.T. hadn’t helped us get back on the map . . . we’re probably not sitting here having this press conference. Gordon Hayward probably isn’t impressed with the team. Horford and everything else.”