Isaiah Thomas signed with the Los Angeles Lakers yesterday. That’s a sentence most Boston Celtics fans never wanted to see. The veteran point guard inked a 10-day contract under a hardship exception amidst a flurry of Lakers entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Despite the city of Boston constantly begging the Celtics to sign Thomas, he entered the season as a free agent. He joined the Denver Nuggets’ G-League team this week and promptly dropped 42 points in his first game. It didn’t take long for the Lakers to sign him after that.
Thomas’ former teammate, Marcus Smart, spoke after the Celtics’ loss to the Golden State Warriors last night about how proud he is of Thomas:
“It’s amazing. I’m just proud that he gets another chance. And you know, he’s been doing everything he could to show the world that he’s still IT. I think he was written off a little early. But that dude’s a fighter, a warrior. And I’m just happy that somebody gave him a chance.”
The pair were teammates for two-and-a-half years in Boston from the middle of the 2014-15 season to 2017. Thomas was an All-Star both of the full seasons he spent with the team, and the team made it as far as the Eastern Conference Finals with him at the helm and a legitimate MVP contender.
Smart also noted that he wished Thomas got his latest chance with the Celtics. The two are still “really close” to this day.
“Obviously, I wish it would’ve been us. I’m really close with IT, but I’m glad somebody did [give him a chance]. And I’m glad he didn’t give up. He’s still fighting and still proving everybody wrong.”
Smart was quickly asked about whether or not he advocated for the Celtics to sign Thomas. The team has had plenty of opportunities to do so, as Thomas hasn’t played more than 40 games in a season since leaving Boston. Smart was brutally honest with his response:
“I mean I did, but you know, there’s only so much I can do. It’s a business on that part. Like I said, I’m just proud of him. The adversity that he’s been going through and to continue to triumph and to continue to fight through it. So, you know, that’s my dog. So big shout out to IT, it’s all love.”
Celtics fans are in a tough spot when it comes to rooting for Thomas now as he dons the purple and gold. Last night was a great start for him. Thomas led the Lakers in scoring (19) coming off the bench in their loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Hopefully, Thomas can make the most of this opportunity and stay in the league for a little while longer.