A major NBA trade that rocked the basketball world weeks ago still seems to have new Cleveland Cavaliers star Isaiah Thomas puzzled and hurt. The NBA All-Star has recently indicated he still has plenty of love for the city of Boston in general and most of his former teammates. The city became a welcoming home for the star point guard as the fans showed him the love. However, when it comes to the Celtics’ general manager Danny Ainge, Thomas doesn’t believe they may ever be on speaking terms again.
In a new Sports Illustrated article called “Best Year of My Career, Worst Year Of My Life,” Thomas spoke about a variety of topics, including the fractured relationship between himself and Danny Ainge. That hurt was all caused by the major NBA deal he was involved in this summer. He mentioned in the article that the trade that took place absolutely boggled his mind and said he once thought, “What the hell happened?” and that it was “a trade you make in NBA 2K,” the popular sports video game. He also believes the trade, which brought All-Star guard Kyrie Irving to Boston, was a mistake on the part of the Celtics organization.
Thomas said this regarding the NBA trade he was involved in and his feelings towards Ainge.
“I might not ever talk to Danny again. That might not happen. I’ll talk to everybody else. But what he did, knowing everything I went through, you don’t do that, bro. That’s not right. I’m not saying eff you. But every team in this situation comes out a year or two later and says, ‘We made a mistake.’ That’s what they’ll say, too.”
The trade came after Thomas spent just over two seasons with the Boston Celtics. He came to the team via a trade with the Phoenix Suns in the 2014-15 NBA season. Thomas ended up becoming one of the top scorers in the league this past season, earning the title of a fourth-quarter scoring threat, became an All-Star reserve, and led the team to the Eastern Conference Finals. At one point, Thomas was even mentioned in NBA MVP contenders during the regular season.
The deal between Boston and Cleveland came after Thomas had given his “heart and soul” to the Celtics before suffering several major setbacks. His 22-year-old sister, Chyna, died in a car accident during the 2017 NBA Playoffs. Despite that, an emotional and shaken Thomas found the strength to help the team push through their early playoff series. As a No. 1 seed, Boston ousted the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards to reach the Eastern Conference Finals.
During the Eastern Conference Finals, he went down with a bad hip injury and was done for the postseason. The Cavs eliminated the Celtics 4-1 in the series, with the one win coming in a game that Thomas didn’t participate. However, his injury left fans wondering what may have happened if the All-Star guard was available for the full seven games.
The injury and the fact the team won without Thomas may have been what caught the attention of the Celtics’ general manager. Thomas was due to be paid a lot of money by the Celtics if they held onto him, and in a business sense, it wasn’t the smartest move for the organization to keep him. As a team, the front office is always looking to do what’s best for their franchise heading forward. Keeping a hobbled Isaiah Thomas on their roster just wasn’t in their future plans. Loyalty or not, the business decision was made.
However, Thomas now joins the very team that his Celtics couldn’t get past without him. He’ll be among the stars on the reloaded Cleveland Cavaliers roster that still features LeBron James and Kevin Love at its core. Thomas won’t be playing until midseason due to his injury recovery timetable, but he’s certainly looking to prove to the world, and probably Danny Ainge, that he should have never been traded away.
NBA fans, does Isaiah Thomas have a legitimate reason to be upset with Danny Ainge? Will they ever bury the hatchet, and will the Celtics feel they made a bad decision in the future?
[Featured Image by Getty Images]