Jerks might call Isaiah Thomas “antsy” as some sort of joke about his size. That’s a shame, because he actually is antsy as hell to play.
It’s been clear from Thomas’ social media usage and interviews that he’s champing at the bit (it’s “champing,” not “chomping”) to return from his hip injury and make his Cavaliers debut. That isn’t expected to happen for at least another month, so for now tweets and Instagram arguments will have to suffice.
Sunday night showed both sides of Thomas’ motivation. He started by stating the obvious:
Yet it’s what followed that tweet that reminded everyone why Thomas was so beloved in Boston.
Given that he was the last pick in his draft and was twice discarded in trades — with one such occurrence coming from a team that decided they’d rather have someone else than pay him max money — Thomas should and will always be a “chip on his shoulder” guy. It’s a quality that comes off as forced with players who have been handed everything throughout their careers, but in Thomas’ case it’s clearly genuine.
When Thomas finally does return, he’s going to have even more motivation. Not only will he be playing for a new contract, but now he feels disrespected again. That usually leads to him going off.
A couple of NBA legends - one old school and one more modern-day - were among the luminaries wishing Gordon Hayward well after his gruesome ankle injury in the Celtics' season opener in Cleveland on Tuesday night.
Celtics legend Bill Russell tweeted his best wishes to Hayward on Twitter and future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant posted a message to him on Instagram.
Hayward went down about five minutes into his first regular-season game with the C's and is awaiting surgery for an ankle dislocation and fracture at New England Baptist Hospital.
New Celtics teammate Kyrie Irving and the player Irving was traded for, Isaiah Thomas, also posted Wednesday in the aftermath of the injury.
Isaiah Thomas knew he wasn't going to be able to play in Tuesday's season opener against his former team. That unforunately wasn't close to the extent of the game's injury news.
According to NBC Sports Boston's A. Sherrod Blakely, Thomas went in to check on Gordon Hayward after the Celtics forward suffered a fractured left ankle in the first quarter of Tuesday's game.
Though Thomas was traded to Cleveland before the two had a chance to play together, Hayward and the Celtics have credited Thomas with being a big piece of recruiting the former Jazz star.
"[The trade of Thomas to Cleveland] was a really strange moment because I'd really been looking forward to playing with him," Hayward wrote on his website last month. "He didn't just help recruit me to Boston--he was a big piece of that recruitment. He had talked a lot about city and how it was different to be a Celtic. He talked about the intensity of playing in the Eastern Conference Finals, playing at the Garden in the playoffs, and how much fun it was, and how much fun he had playing in Boston.
"All of that ultimately helped win me over. And by the time of the trade, I had already started to build a little bit of a relationship with him."