Isaiah Thomas will attend the funeral of his sister Chyna Thomas in their hometown of Tacoma, Washington Saturday, following the Game 6 of the Celtics vs. Bulls first round series, according to The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach.
Chyna Thomas died in a one-car accident near Tacoma Saturday April 15 at the age of 23, on the eve of Game 1 of the series. Thomas remarkably played through the tragedy the following evening, scoring 33 points in a hard fought battle that saw the Celtics fall just short 106-102.
In a moving piece, Himmelsbach reports several items about the tragedy faced by the Thomas family and how the Celtics organization has graciously handled the situation.
“Mentally and emotionally, I’m not here,” Thomas said after Game 4 in Chicago in his first media appearance since his sister’s passing.
The report reveals Chyna had been planning to spend her 23rd birthday on May 2 in Boston with her older brother, who at that date will be in the early stages of the second round if the Celtics complete their series win over the Bulls. They are currently leading the series 3-2 after a pair of valiant performances from Thomas to turn around the Celtics’ fortunes.
While the story is worth a read for several interesting insights from Thomas’ friends, one important thing of note is that his close friend Alonzo Weatherby is confident that Thomas will return to Boston in time for the 1pm ET Game 7 start if applicable. Considering the three hour time zone change and 5 hour flight, this will be difficult but feasible feat for Thomas to pull off. Expect extra motivation for the Celtics to close out their series Friday in Chicago.
If both the Celtics and Wizards win their Game 6s Friday evening, they will begin their second round series Sunday in Boston. Therefore, the Celtics are guaranteed to play Sunday unless they win Game 6 and the Atlanta Hawks can extend the series to a Game 7.