In ESPN’s Celtics Summer Forecast, writers and bloggers were asked “which Celtics will be All Stars this season?” Last season, Isaiah Thomas made his first trip to the mid-season classic, and then Hawk Al Horford became a four-time All Star. Most of us pegged either both or at least one of them to represent the Celtics next February. Here’s Jake’s take on Thomas and Horford both making the team:
Horford will dominate the Celtics’ frontcourt, Thomas will command the backcourt, and both players will earn All-Star nods in 2016-17. Thomas shouldn’t have a problem putting up numbers deserving of an All-Star selection, especially if Boston does not acquire another primary ball handler or if no such player ascends from the bench.
Thomas made some noise on social media this weekend with an Instagram photo of him and Allen Iverson and tagging it #RealRecognizeReal.
Pound for pound the best to ever play the game! Thank you @theofficialai3 for everything you've done for the game a basketball. There will never be another Allen Iverson but I'm for damn sure going to be the closest thing to you LOL. Thank you for inviting me to your Gala and allowing me to speak at it. Appreciate all the long talks we've had, they have changed the way I approach the game! #RealRecognizeReal #TheAnswer : @joipearsonphoto
He also tweeted out a signed jersey from AI. Iverson was an 11-time All-Star and was recently voted into the Hall of Fame this year after career averages of 26.7 points, 6.2 assists, and 2.2 steals. His 14 seasons in the league were equal parts brilliance from the 6-foot scoring point guard and enigmatic behavior of a reluctant superstar.
Thomas, on the hand, has been a model citizen for the Celtics after bouncing from Sacramento to Phoenix to Boston. He turned in his best season last year and was rewarded with a trip to ASW as a first time All-Star. However, numbers can’t measure Thomas’s total importance to the franchise. It was IT4 who started recruiting Horford in Toronto, sealed the deal earlier this summer, and spearheaded the pitch to Kevin Durant. He may not put up Iverson-level stats, but Thomas has played a huge role in the franchise’s rebuild.