TORONTO – For Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, becoming an All-Star was a lifelong dream come true.
And if he has his way, the dream will be on a perpetual loop for many years to come.
“It was good to be out on the court with those other guys,” Thomas said. “And to experience Kobe’s last All-Star Game. Hopefully I can have some more weekends like this.”
The 5-foot-9 guard has now had a taste of what it’s like to be among the league’s best following the West’s 196-173 win over the East.
Thomas vows to not be a one-hit wonder.
“I’m getting back again next year, no doubt,” said Thomas who had nine points. “Like I said, I want to make it an every year thing, something I get used to every February. I just have to keep working.”
Thomas, who was chosen as an all-star reserve by the Eastern Conference coaches, acknowledged he may have had some early jitters when he checked into the game for the first time.
“I never been in this atmosphere, but it was all fun,” Thomas said. “I wish I could have hit a couple more shots but it was fun out there.”
Among the highlights for Thomas was scoring late in the game over Kobe Bryant in what was likely the last basket scored on Bryant in an All-Star Game.
“I’ve said it; he’s the greatest player of my generation,” Thomas said. “Somebody I looked up to and probably won’t see another Kobe Bryant ever again. It’s an honor to be able to share a court with him not just against the Lakers, but in an All-Star game.”
Although Thomas didn’t score a ton of points, he did hit a floater in the fourth quarter with Bryant defending which will be the final basket scored on Bryant in an all-star game.
“He (Bryant) started laughing about it,” Thomas said. “I got him on one; I was happy about that.”
Now Thomas is off to Seattle to spend a couple days with his family prior to joining up with the Celtics in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
His focus will then shift towards preparing for the Jazz and continue to build on the success he and the Celtics have had prior to the break, the kind of success that can lead to more weekends like this for Thomas.