Isaiah Thomas on playing in NBA: ‘The world knows I got what it takes’

NBA free agent Isaiah Thomas led the way for Team USA with 19 points on Friday night as they defeated the Bahamas 93-77 in FIBA AmeriCup in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The game was the USA’s fifth in FIBA AmeriCup Qualifying play, which the USA will close out against Mexico tomorrow, Feb. 20, at 5 p.m. EST (live on ESPN+).

The 32-year-old Thomas, who played last season with the Wizards, is looking to use these games with Team USA to show teams in the NBA that he can still get it done. After the game, Thomas, who also had six turnovers, discussed his performance.

“I think I played okay. I mean, I’m my biggest critic,” Thomas said. “I felt like I could have done so much more. But you know, I was in foul trouble a little bit. The turnovers are way too high, so I got to limit those. But I’m also getting used to that new ball. I’ve been playing with one ball for the last 10 years. So, it’s a little different, but I just have to adjust, continue to stay aggressive, continue to make plays, and, like I said, most importantly, it’s about getting the win.”

Health has been an issue for Thomas over the years. Thomas dealt with a hip issue, but according to the two-time All-Star, he’s healthy and can help an NBA team.

“The world knows I got what it takes,” Thomas said. “So, it’s just about showing that I’m healthy. My skill didn’t go anywhere. It was just about getting 100% healthy, which I am right now. So, this is definitely a showcase for me, not just for myself, but for, you know, everybody on this team to showcase that, you know, they can play and be able to get jobs around the world. So, you know, individually. Yes, I’m showing that, you know, I’m 100% healthy. I’m moving and I’m myself.”

It was good to see Thomas back on the court, and hopefully, he can get another shot in the league.

Teams will continue to play games in the FIBA AmeriCup Qualifying final window through Feb. 21, after which the top three teams from each of the four groups will earn a berth into the FIBA AmeriCup 2022. With five wins, the USA is assured of its berth into the FIBA AmeriCup 2022, which will serve to qualify teams from the Americas zone for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Photo: FIBA AmeriCup

Clippers waive Isaiah Thomas

The L.A. Clippers have waived guard Isaiah Thomas, the team announced today.

Thomas, 31, was acquired on Feb. 6 as part of a three-team trade with the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks.

The Tacoma native holds career averages of 18.1 points and 5.0 assists in 28.9 minutes over 525 games with seven NBA teams.

The 5’9”, 185-pound guard played three collegiate seasons at the University of Washington, where he was named to the 2010-11 All-Pac 12 first team, before being drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the 60th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

 

Wizards’ Thomas on Kobe: ‘He’s the greatest of all-time, in life, and in basketball'(VIDEO)

Yesterday, was one of the toughest days in NBA history, as NBA legend Kobe Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter accident in California.

Bryant, who played 20 seasons in the NBA, all with the Lakers, retired from the NBA in 2016. 

There were eight games on Sunday in the NBA, and many players, coaches, and media members were visibly upset, including Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas.

Bryant and Thomas had a close relationship, and according to Thomas, the two spoke just last week.

“He meant everything to me,” Thomas said after the Wizards’ 152-133 loss to the Hawks on Sunday. “I started basketball because of Kobe Bryant… 2017, I lose my sister; 2019, I lose one my best friends in Nipsey Hussle, and to lose a mentor of mine, like, that’s bigger than basketball.

“He’s the greatest of all-time, in life, and in basketball. That’s how much I looked up to him, so his legacy gonna live forever, but this was a dent in everybody’s life that he’s touch, for sure. 

“I admired him from afar, and then, I think he respects people’s work ethic. I just slowly built a relationship with him on the court, and when I got to Boston, it got a little closer where it was off the court. And then my sister passed away, and that’s when it got real close. He was one of them people that was there for me in my corner, and then I got injured, he was one of those guys who was there for me the whole time, helping me through mentally, so like I said, it’s bigger than basketball. It’s hard to even talk about it. Like, the NBA should have just canceled all the games today, for real…

“My focus was not on the game, really. It’s like, my kids called me and told me he passed away. Let that sink in.”

No one should die at 41, and sadly, we all have to deal with the fact that Kobe Bryant will never grace this earth again.

Listen to Thomas’ thoughts on Bryant below:

 

Wizards’ Isaiah Thomas: ‘I’m starting to feel more and more like myself’

In the 2016-17 NBA season, Washington Wizards point guard Isaiah Thomas was balling. With the Celtics that season, the 5’9″ Thomas appeared in 76 regular-season games, averaged 28.9 points per game, was second in the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring, and he was an All-Star and second-team All-NBA. Thomas had an MVP-caliber season.

Also, the Celtics had the best record in the Eastern Conference and would make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but they were beaten 4-1 by the Cavaliers in that series. Due to an injured hip, Thomas would play only two games against the Cavs.

Throughout the 2016-17 season, the talk was about how much money Thomas was going to get in the offseason. Based on his performance that season, it seemed that Thomas would get a max deal, but the injury changed things, and ultimately during that summer, Thomas, who fought through the injury that season and even played after the death of his sister, was shipped to Cleveland in a deal that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston. 

Unfortunately, Thomas struggled to return from the hip injury with Cleveland, and after 15 games with the Cavaliers, he was dealt to the Lakers in the 2017-18 season. Thomas played 17 games with the Lakers and averaged 15 points per game before getting another surgery on his hip. 

Last season, the 30-year-old Thomas signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Nuggets, but did not get as much playing time as he hoped. This summer, Thomas signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Wizards, and with the injury to John Wall, this is an excellent opportunity for Thomas.

Thomas has started 19 games for the Wizards and is averaging 13.9 points per game and 4.9 assists, and according to Thomas, he’s starting to become himself again.

“I’m feeling more and more like myself,” Thomas told goforitradio after the Wizards’ 107-100 loss to the Knicks on Saturday night. “I’m as healthy as I’m gonna be, slowly getting my rhythm back, slowly feeling like myself.”

When asked he feels like he can duplicate what he did in 2016-17, Thomas had this to say:

“If given the opportunity.”

It’s hard not to root for Thomas. This guy has overcome a lot to get to this point. Whether it’s being drafted late in the second round, or whether it’s his height, Thomas has always found a way to come out on top. In watching Thomas on Saturday night, you can see that he is not entirely where he wants to be. At times, you saw flashes of his 2017 self, and at other times, you saw a player trying to find his rhythm.

Can he be that guy again? I’m not sure, but I know one thing, I’m sure rooting for it to happen. 

 

 

 

 

Devean George on what L.A should do with I.T.: ‘It depends on what they might do this summer’

The Los Angeles Lakers have put themselves in position to be players during free agency this summer.

Los Angeles traded away Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson to Cleveland for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a 2018 first-round pick before the trade deadline, which helped put the Lakers in position to possibly grab two max players this summer.

One question the Lakers will have to answer this offseason is what to do with Isaiah Thomas.

Thomas, who can be a free agent at the end of the season, is still working his way back from a hip injury.

With Lonzo Ball’s size, there is the possibility that the two could play together in the Lakers’ backcourt.

Former Lakers F Devean George is not opposed to Ball and Thomas playing together, but wants to see what happens this summer:

“They’re the same position, but they do different things,” George told TMZ Sports. “I.T. coming in trying score that thang, and you got somebody trying dish it, so it might be able to work. It depends on what they might do this summer.”

I think if the Lakers strike out on LeBron James and Paul George that Thomas is not a bad option, especially if he healthy. He could be a nice compliment to Ball.

However, I would be surprised if Thomas is a Laker next season. They have bigger fish to fry!

 

Isaiah Thomas on Cavs: ‘We gotta come together’

It has been a struggle for the Cavaliers over the past few weeks. They are not defending, they are not coming together, and right now, they look like a team that may not make a lot of noise in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Last night in Orlando was terrible; the Cavaliers went from having a 21-point lead in the first half, to losing 116-98 to the Magic. Cleveland scored only nine points in the 4th quarter.

Cavaliers G Isaiah Thomas, who came over from Boston in the Kyrie Irving trade, talked about went wrong last night, and what’s wrong with the Cavaliers:

“One-on-one. We stopped doing what worked in the first half, and it’s as simple as that,” Thomas told Fox Sports Ohio. “We looked a totally different team in the second half on both ends, and that’s what this team has been this whole season, inconsistent.

“As players, we gotta do better. When they start going on their runs, which teams are going to do each and every game. We gotta come together, and it’s like right now when we hit adversity we go our separate ways, and that’s just how I feel,” Thomas said. “And it looks like that way as well.  Guys start to go one-on-one on offense and defense; it’s every man for themselves.

“First half we played good, everybody was happy. It was energized; helping each other on defensive end, sharing the ball. The ball was going side to side on offense, and then, we revert back to what makes us lose games,” Thomas said.

The Cavs are a mess, but I am not ready to say they are done. Thomas is not entirely healthy, and they have LeBron James. While it might look bad right now, there is still enough talent to turn it around.

We’ll see if they can turn it around!

Isaiah Thomas fined $20k for Flagrant Foul on Wiggins

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas has been fined $20,000 for striking Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins above the shoulders, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Thomas was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 6:47 remaining in the third quarter of the Cavaliers’ 127-99 loss to the Timberwolves on Monday, Jan. 8 at Target Center.

To view the incident, click here.

Paul Pierce: ‘I’m not sure if I want to see an Isaiah(Thomas) video that night'(watch)

Paul Pierce is not sure he wants a video tribute of Isaiah Thomas on his night. On February 11, Pierce’s number 34 will be retired by the Celtics.

Thomas, who went back to Boston as a member of the Cavaliers last night, but did not play, requested that the Celtics not give him a video tribute until the Cavaliers return to Boston on February 11.

Pierce talked about what he thinks should happen today on ESPN’s The Jump:

“On February 11, the night I get my jersey retirement, I’m not sure I want to look up at the jumbotron and see Isaiah highlights. After all the years I put in.

“I had a chance to watch Kobe’s, and throughout the game, the timeouts, it was a lot of tribute videos for him, and I enjoyed to watch that throughout the game. Now hopefully, the Boston Celtics will do that for me.”

“I’m not sure if I want to see an Isaiah video that night.”

Listen to what Pierce had to say:

Celtics’ Jaylen Brown on Isaiah Thomas trade: ‘Do I agree with it? Not necessarily’

The Boston Celtics are going to look a little different this NBA season. Gone are Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and Kelly Olynyk. In are Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward,  Marcus Morris, and Jayson Tatum.

Boston finished first in the Eastern Conference last season, and made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Cavs in five.

The biggest move for the Celtics this offseason was the trade of Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving.

Celtics F Jaylen Brown is not sure if the trade of Thomas is good for the team. Here is what he told Complex Magazine:

“It changes the whole dynamic, the whole culture. We’ll see if it’s for good or bad, time will tell. But it’s still a little weird to me, to be honest, because when I came in everything they stressed was culture, environment, Celtic basketball. Now, it’s like what is the environment, the culture, what is Celtic basketball? I think it’s a great opportunity for me, great opportunity for the Celtics, great opportunity for Kyrie. Obviously, I loved Isaiah. He was like a big brother to me. I watched him, admired him, the chip he carried on his shoulder I love him. I still do. I’ve kept in contact with him. Congratulated him when he got traded to the Cavs. It’s tough because it’s the business we live in. Do I agree with it? Not necessarily. I think Isaiah definitely tried to plant his flag in Boston. He will definitely be missed—he and Jae [Crowder] both. And Avery [Bradley], too. Those three guys are truly going to be missed. I love them and I thanked all of them for helping me out and said I’d see them down the line,” Brown said.

Interesting comments by Brown. I think getting Irving was a great move by Boston. While last year’s Celtics had great chemistry, the 2017-18 has more talent.

In the NBA, chemistry is important, but talent wins!

Jason Terry on Isaiah Thomas: ‘He’s healthy’

How healthy will Cavaliers G Isaiah Thomas be next season? The 28-year-old guard missed time in the playoffs because of a hip injury. Furthermore, the trade to Cleveland, involving Kyrie Irving and Thomas, took a little extra time due to the Cavaliers’ concerns with Thomas’ hip. Ultimately, Boston added a 2020 second-round pick to complete the trade.

Free agent G Jason Terry, who is friends with Thomas, says not to worry:

“He’s healthy; he’ll be ready to go,” Terry told TMZ Sports.

Terry gave his thoughts on the trade between the Cavaliers and Celtics:

“Well, it’s yet to be seen, but Boston lost four starters(three starters), it’s tough to replace. Chemistry is everything in this league. If you look at Cleveland, they got an elite defender(Jae Crowder), and now they got two All-Pro point guards(Thomas and Derrick Rose). That’s tough to beat,” Terry told TMZ Sports.

Terry believes that Thomas, who will be a free agent at the end of next season, will get his money:

“All-Pro. Nothing is going to change and the Brink’s Truck will come out,” Terry said. “Even if LeBron leaves, they have to build around somebody. Isaiah is the perfect candidate,” Terry said.

Thomas very well could get paid if he a big year next season, and more importantly, if he stays healthy.

In terms of who won the deal, both teams did well. Irving is a younger, taller version of Thomas. Add that to Gordon Hayward, and Boston should be better.

Cleveland gets a MVP candidate from last season in Thomas, and probably a top five pick in this deal(Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick).

Therefore, in my humble opinion, both teams made out pretty well.