Hearing Isaiah Thomas Talk About Wanting To Return To Boston Has Me In A Glass Case Full Of Emotion
I'll say it. I'm emotional. With the Celts in town to play the Hornets tomorrow night, of course this was going to come up. How could it not? The second I saw the tweet that Isaiah was joining the Hornets on a 10 day I did the math and saw he would be on the roster for tomorrow's game. The Hornets are basically the Celtics South now with Isaiah, Terry, and Hayward on their roster so it's going to be pretty weird tomorrow. Listen, I am still driving the Isaiah Bandwagon, that's not stopping anytime soon. People don't really talk anymore about how instrumental Isaiah was to speeding up the Celts rebuild. You could make a case he single handedly dragged them out of the depths of NBA hell when Ainge first traded for him at the deadline in 2014-15. He gave us one of the greatest offensive seasons in franchise history in 2016 and wound up top 5 in MVP voting. He dropped 53 in a playoff game.
He embraced the city and the love came right back and then some. That's why the whole ending of the Isaiah era was shitty. The injury, the trade, how things then unfolded with Kyrie, all of it.
Which is why over the last few years you've had Celts fans, and at times myself, talk about finding a way to reunite the two sides. Whether it was just for a covid fill in, or a 10 day, or something. It's not like there wasn't a time where the Celts didn't have a need for backup point guard or a bench scorer. I mean to be fair, we watched 34 games of Jeff Teague at one point. At the same time, I always understood why Brad didn't make the call. Or at least I could see a potential reason. The last thing anyone would want is for Isaiah to return for a 10 day and then not really play, then the Celts release him and now they are someone who has cut Isaiah twice. That's drama I am sure everyone thought about and has chosen to avoid. I have no doubt he could help from a leadership standpoint, but sadly it's no longer a system fit. Especially with someone like Payton Pritchard already taking up the undersized shooter spot. It's one of those things where the stars never seemed to align, even when on the surface it looked like there could be a need.
Having said all that, it's hard not to be bummed out to hear Isaiah talk about it and see the disappointment on his face that Brad never came calling. His love for Boston is real, even after all these years. It's why I will root for this dude wherever he plays. I hope he comes out and looks great tomorrow night (in a Hornets loss). When healthy, which he is, Isaiah has shown he still can score at the NBA level. He can get buckets in his sleep. But with roster spots being so precious right now, I can understand putting an emphasis on defensive minded players or sharp shooters for this 2021-22 Celts team. Unfortunately, Isaiah doesn't fit their plan and how they play, especially with their switch everything scheme. It sucks, but that's the reality.
Would I still love to see a reunion one day? Absofuckinglutely. The Garden would go BANANAS in his first game back. Sadly, I've known for a while this dream will most likely never happen. That tragic news came from the man himself to me over the summer. So instead I'll continue to wish Isaiah well even if it'll never be for my favorite team again. We'll always have that 2.5 year run though, that shit was so fucking fun