Isaiah Thomas is a lot of things. Quiet isn’t one of them. Smart is, and so maybe it makes sense that he has been conspicuously inactive on social media since being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Reacting to such jarring news requires time and the perspective it provides.
The internet tends to abhor those things, in a manner that frequently leads to public missteps. Playing things slowly in such a potentially emotionally charged situation is wise. Thomas continues to abstain from Twitter, but posted for the first time on Instagram last night.
"They say every man is defined by his reaction to any given situation. Well who would you want to define you? Someone else or yourself? Whatever you do, give your heart to it and stay strong"... THE MARATHON CONTINUES!!! #BookOfIsaiah2ComingSoon #ThatSLOWgrind #KeepDoubting #KillaSeason : @TeeJayRegan
The minute-long video he shared is primarily a teaser for the next chapter of the “Book of Isaiah,” a Youtube documentary covering Thomas’ rise to NBA superstardom from relative anonymity.
The video is flawlessly executed, opening with a memory from the height of Thomas’ mythology in Boston, and shifting to shots of him rehabbing this summer, with voice overs from a variety of media members. He let’s them do all his talking for him, and they give voice to a lot of the frustration that Thomas undoubtedly felt and feels around the hypocrisy of the perception of “loyalty” in the NBA.
Am I overthinking a sixty second clip? Yes. But it’s honestly brilliant. In just one post, Thomas invokes nostalgia in the supporters of his former team, highlights the cruelty with which the Celtics traded him and the absurdity of our expectations of NBA players compared to front offices, and inspires hope that he will stop at nothing to return to peak form in the coming year.
And he does it all while maintaining his position on the moral high ground. Thomas is a master at making people want to root for him, and this video is no exception. It’s going to be hard to see him in a Cavs uniform next year.
Thomas only made things more challenging by later publishing an overwhelmingly honest piece in the Players’ Tribune, in which he put words to the type of emotions that could only be inferred from the video mentioned above.
It’s a touch on the long side, but if you’re a Celtics fan, or just a supporter of Isaiah Thomas, it’s more than worth the time investment to read it. I won’t dive into any sort of deep analysis here, because it deserves to be digested in its entirety.