With his smallish stature at 5’7″, Isaiah Thomas has been doubted his entire life on a basketball court and as such has played with a huge chip on his shoulder his entire career.
He was the last pick of the 2011 NBA Draft and was essentially allowed to walk from the Kings after a season in which he averaged 20 points and six assists per game. He was also dealt by the Suns after only half of a season.
Despite leading the Celtics to the No. 1 seed in the eastern conference last season and averaging basically 30 points per game, doubts still remains and because of the hip injury he suffered in the eastern conference finals there is more doubt by those around the league (and maybe even his prospective new team) that he can be the same player moving forward.
Thomas is here to silence his critics yet again. Here is what he told Adrian Wojnarowski about his injury and recovery:
“I am not damaged,” Thomas told ESPN on Tuesday. “I’ll be back, and I’ll be the same player….
“There’s never been an indication that I wouldn’t be back, and there’s never been an indication that this is something messing up my career,” Thomas told ESPN. “Maybe I am not going to be back as soon this season as everyone wants me to be, but I’m going to be back, and I’m going to be the same player again. No doctor has told me anything different than that.”
The Cavaliers doctors are concerned whether not having surgery on the hip could lead to a re-injury, which is why they have been trying to negotiate more compensation from the Celtics.
Knowing Thomas’s toughness, passion and extreme determination to assert himself as one of the better offensive players and point guards in the league as he did last season, playing alongside LeBron James and defeating his soon to be former team and prevent them from reaching the finals yet again should be more than enough to stoke the fire for another highly productive season for Thomas when he is on the court.
Not to mention his looming free agency next summer and the chance to cash in on his first truly lucrative NBA contract.
Thomas could add the spark and fire that the Cavs need next season to possibly make one more NBA Finals trip before LeBron’s contract is up next summer.