It’s not every day that a player for the Boston Celtics finds himself sharing a franchise record with Larry Bird, a true fixture on the Mt. Rushmore of Celtics legends.
For Isaiah Thomas, Monday’s team-high 24 points in Boston’s 114-90 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers was the 13th straight game he has been the Celtics’ outright scoring leader – a record he now shares with Bird.
But listening to Thomas afterwards, he was about as excited about joining Bird in the record books as the best player in a game is when given a participation trophy afterwards.
“Maybe if we would have won, it would have been pretty cool,” Thomas told reporters following the loss Monday night. “I’m just about winning. The numbers speak for itself.”
Thomas, a first-time all-star in February, is averaging career numbers in just about every significant, statistical category such as scoring (22.2 points), assists (6.4) and rebounds (3.0). He has earned the admiration of an increasing fan base as well as across-the-league respect from his peers.
Thomas has been in the NBA long enough to feel confident that he can score with the best of them in the league.
But as you look across the NBA landscape, there are a number of players whose strength is scoring.
Thomas wants more.
Scoring is nice, but winning … even better.
And that’s why his success this season, while impressive in terms of the numbers he has posted, is equally significant that he has done it while playing a central role for one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams.
So maybe sometime this summer when he’s laid out on some island or at a beach, he may think back to the significance of what he has done this season in terms of aligning himself statistically with some of the greatest players to ever don shorts and a jersey in the NBA.
But he is most proud of what the Celtics have done this season to improve their win total, something he’s not ready to see end anytime soon.
“It’s about winning,” Thomas said. “Especially at the end of the year right now.”