NEW ORLEANS – Here’s hoping you got a chance to see Boston’s Isaiah Thomas compete in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge on Saturday.
Because after yet another defeat, Thomas says he’s calling it quits on the event.
“That’s my last time doing it,” said Thomas who competed in his third Skills Challenge. “I can’t get a win. It’s fun, but it sucks losing. I hate losing no matter what it is.”
And the loss, which came in the semis to Utah’s Gordon Hayward, came about because of Thomas’ inability to knock down a 3-pointer.
“I couldn’t make a shot. I guess it wasn’t the fourth quarter,” quipped Thomas afterwards.
Although each player had their own set of challenges to wade through, Thomas admitted he went on the defensive when both players were trying to move on to the finals with one made 3-pointer.
“I knew he was shooting kind of fast,” Thomas said. “A couple of those shots, I was just trying to hit his ball; I was trying to make sure he didn’t make it.”
Regardless of how the Skills Challenge ended – New York’s Kristaps Porzingis was the winner - it doesn’t take away from what has been a strong start to the season for both Thomas and the Celtics.
But he understands the challenge that awaits him and the Celtics going forward as they try to continue rolling along as one of the top teams in the NBA despite having a roster that has been riddled with injuries this season.
“We’re like a next man … everybody has a next man up mentality,” Thomas said. “We don’t use excuses on why we lose games or why players are out, stuff like that. We don’t think about it when players are out. When we know somebody’s out, it’s like, ‘OK, next man up. We have to take advantage.’”