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Isaiah Thomas: ‘Mentally and emotionally, I’m not here’

Isaiah Canaan, Isaiah Thomas, Fred Hoiberg

Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas (4) controls the ball from Chicago Bulls’ Isaiah Canaan (0) as head coach Fred Hoiberg watches during the second half in Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series in Chicago, Sunday, April 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

AP

Isaiah Thomas previously explained his emotions in a statement, but the Celtics guard spoke publicly yesterday for the first time since the death of his sister in a car crash just before the playoffs.

Thomas, via A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

“Mentally and emotionally I’m not here,” Thomas said after Game 4, the first time he has spoken publicly since his sister’s death. “So I just feed off of what the guys give me. They give me a lot of confidence. I can’t do it without those guys. They believe in me. Being here is what makes me sane and makes me feel somewhat normal through these tough times.”

Thomas has played well for Boston, which won twice in Chicago to even its series with the Bulls, 2-2. It’s remarkable considering the heavy emotional burden and extra travel, going to Seattle for his sister’s funeral then joining the Celtics in Chicago.

His teammates have clearly rallied around him, and that surely helps. But I can’t even imagine how he’s simultaneously handling such a tragic family situation and the biggest games of his career.