Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas remained silent about the death of 22-year-old sister, Chyna Thomas, but it was no secret that her death took an emotional toll on the father-of-two.
In a recent report, it was indicated that Thomas struggled to perform during the Celtics’ first playoff game of 2017.
Isaiah was seen crying while the Boston Celtics paid tribute to his sister, and again while sitting on the bench in which a teammate had to console him during the first-round matchup against the Chicago Bulls.
Now, after flying back to his home to be with his family and attending Chyna’s funeral, Isaiah has made his first public statement, which was released on the Boston Celtics’ Twitter page.
Isaiah Thomas arrives in the Nike Air Yeezy 2 "Red October" for Game 4 pic.twitter.com/eB4dWBB54z
— B/R Kicks (@br_kicks) April 24, 2017
The statement reads as follows.
“I never could have imagined a day where my little sister, Chyna, wouldn’t be here. She and my family are everything to me, so the pain I am feeling right now is impossible to put into words.”
“This has been without question the hardest week of my life,” the statement continued. “At the same time, I have been overwhelmed by the love and support that I have received and couldn’t be more thankful for my friends, family, fans, the City of Boston, Celtics organization, and the NBA community.”
“I truly appreciate all of the support you’ve shown me the past several days and thank you for respecting my privacy as I continue to grieve and heal with my loved ones at this time.”
— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) April 24, 2017
Chyna was killed in a one-vehicle accident in the early hours of Saturday, April 15, while driving home on Interstate 5 in Federal Way, Washington. Witnesses say she hit a barrier that ultimately sent her car airborne, hitting a metal pole.
Trooper Nick King, a state patrol spokesman said, “All of a sudden it started to drift very casually onto the left shoulder.”
Chyna was pronounced dead at the scene.
Isaiah Thomas' sister Chyna passed away at the age of 22 in a car accident last night. RIP ???? pic.twitter.com/NMuu9Oc1lt
— Blood Runs Green ☘ (@BloodRunsGreen_) April 15, 2017
Authorities say the Boston Celtics’ guard’s sister may have fallen asleep, as there was no indication of drugs or alcohol.
Afterward, Isaiah’s Boston Celtics’ teammates were sympathetic with his recent loss and fans were offering their condolences via social media.
“He’s still hurting,” coach Brad Stevens said. “But I can’t tell [how well he’s doing]. He’s pretty engaged when he’s been with us. Again, you have to, for me, we have to maintain the perspective that there’s going to be some real ups and downs and that’s just part of it.”
“We’re here to support him and we’re going to do our jobs and play and coach basketball but we understand that there is a bigger picture and we are here as his support network that is in Boston.”
“I think the biggest thing is they really care about each other,” Stevens added. “It’s really tough when he’s sitting there and some of his family is back in Seattle. But I think the next extension of your family is who you’re around every day and your team. They care about one another and they support one another. That’s what you hope you have in a team, but it’s probably not always the case.”
— Mee Rhan Kim (@meerhan) April 16, 2017
“It was draining,” Isaiah’s teammate, Avery Bradley, said. “You know, I said it last night. We just were playing for each other. We know it’s tough times right now. It’s just a sanctuary being on the basketball court. For us to make him feel happy and make him feel like we have his back, as brothers that’s what you’re supposed to do.”
After a week of sadness, Isaiah has returned just in time for the Celtics’ must-win Game 3 against the Chicago Bulls. Unlike the previous game, Isaiah appeared good in spirits with his two sons cheering him on the crowd.
[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]