TD GARDEN — On Monday, the city of Boston was buzzing as their favorite, shortest tenured, little guy, hero was returning to finally get his just due.
Isaiah basked in every moment of the tribute that, for one night at the Garden, seemed more important than the outcome of the game.
Fans, players, coaches and media took this time to relive and show gratitude towards Thomas who, in his short time in Boston, made as much of an impact on the fan base as any player in recent history, short of the Big Ticket.
Here’s your tour inside and out of the locker room at the Garden...
How was it seeing some familiar faces, guys like Terry Rozier?
“Well it was me and Jaylen (Brown) because he thought he could guard me, he always thought he could guard me. I told him I need like six hands around me. I need three people to guard me. It was fun those guys are brothers to me; those guys are always and will always be family. This whole organization, the coaching staff, everybody that I was here for those three years is always going to be family and is special in my heart.”
Re: Crowd reaction to Isaiah Thomas tribute
“Well-deserved ten times over. You know, like I can’t say enough great things about Isaiah. I could sit up here all night and certainly that video tribute was great. Our people did a great job on it; it was very – it was emotional and it was – it could’ve lasted a lot longer. So, greatly appreciative of our time together and it was – I was glad that he got that moment.”
Does this game feel like a little step back?
“Well, these kinds of things happen especially against really good teams like that. If you’re not doing the right things and if you’re not locked in enough, that can happen. You know, we just had some miscues there. Maybe against, I don’t know on Saturday, Atlanta. We were able to overcome some of those. Tonight, a better team it’s just harder. You can’t give them life like that.”
What does it mean to guys to see the fan reception Isaiah Thomas had in his return?
“I mean, first and foremost we all understand that personal emotions and business really don’t mix, especially in the NBA. You have a plan where you’d like to stay somewhere then the organization moves in another direction. We respect all those guys who are in the top positions to make those decisions, but you can just see that the connection that guys have with fans that they build in the community sticks with them for the rest of their careers and the fans support them for the rest of their careers, for the most part at least. It’s just awesome. It’s well documented what he’s done here. For me, it’s a unique position because I’m the one that got traded for him. I just want to see him do well. We got drafted the same year. He’s dealt with a lot of BS in his career, just trying to be the underdog all the time instead of getting the opportunity he deserves. Boston gave him that opportunity and he flourished. Unfortunately, he had that hip injury. He’ll be back at the top of his game in no time. You don’t ever got to worry about a talented guy like that finding a job in the NBA and making an impact somewhere.”
ISAIAH THOMAS DOESN’T RULE OUT RETURN TO CELTICS:
BRAD STEVENS ON HIS CURRENT RELATIONSHIP WITH THOMAS: