Courtesy of the Boston Globe‘s Adam Himmelsbach, Isaiah Thomas was walking home with his wife from the back-to-school night that was happening for their son. As the Celtics’ guard was walking, he noticed that a child was shooting hoops at a park by himself in the rain. The quick decision by Isaiah Thomas turned an ordinary Tuesday into the day of a lifetime for 14-year-old Robbie McNulty.
It is amazing the power that professional athletes possess. Spending just 10 minutes shooting jump shots with a kid at a park may not seem like much to Isaiah Thomas, but it meant so much to Robbie McNulty. It was a surreal experience for Robbie considering that Thomas is his favorite NBA player. Robbie now has an insane story to tell his classmates at his Cambridge, Massachusetts-area high school.
Robbie McNulty gave an account of the experience with the Boston Celtics guard.
“It was just so nice of him to come over and play with me. I bet he didn’t even think it would be that big of a deal to me, but for me, like, it’s crazy. He’s an NBA All-Star and he’s just looking at you and talking to you.”
The perspective of the story that Isaiah Thomas gave is a perfect example of the impact that a professional athlete can have on someone when they go out of their way to make a positive impact.
“He was the only kid there. So I’m like, ‘I’m just going to go get some shots up with him.’ When I walked over, he rebounded his own shot and turned around and I’m like, ‘Can I get a couple shots?’ And he stopped. He didn’t even say a word, like his eyes were so big. He just stopped and froze and I’m like, ‘Pass me the ball.'”
Robbie McNulty valued the experience so much; he texted his mother: “The best thing ever just happened to me.”
Isaiah Thomas received his first NBA All-Star appearance last season. To earn that impressive All-Star honor, Thomas averaged 22.2 points, 6.2 assists, 2.4 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 0.1 blocks, and 2.7 turnovers last season, via Basketball-Reference. This past season was the best of Thomas’ career, which is why it is no surprise that he finally found a home with the Boston Celtics.
Making the All-Star Team is extraordinary for a player that was not only the 60th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, but for a player that stands at five-feet, nine-inches. In fact, it is so rare, that Isaiah Thomas (2015-16) joined Calvin Murphy (1978-79) as the only players in NBA history to make the NBA All-Star Team at the height of five-feet, nine-inches or shorter, according to Basketball-Reference.
Now that the Boston Celtics have signed Al Horford, they have a fantastic chance to take the next step as a team. It is crucial for the progression of the team that the Celtics can make it beyond the opening round of the playoffs for the first time under head coach Brad Stevens. It’s not just Brad Stevens that has something to prove, now is the time for Isaiah Thomas to show that he can be a franchise player on a deep playoff team.
There is plenty of reason for excitement around this current Boston Celtics team. Boston appears to have the best talent that they’ve had since the 2011-12 season when the Doc Rivers-led squad headlined by Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat. Only time will tell if Isaiah Thomas can lead Boston to the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals seem well within range at the very least.
[Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]