Isaiah Thomas Stunningly Admitted He’s Open to Ending His Dream of Playing in the NBA Again: ‘If the NBA Isn’t an Option, I’ve Got to Look at Options Overseas’
Isaiah Thomas was one of the best players in the NBA during the 2016-17 season. The Boston Celtics guard averaged 28.9 points and finished fifth in MVP voting while leading his team to the Eastern Conference Finals. The sky appeared to be the limit for Thomas.
However, Thomas re-aggravated a right hip injury in Game 2 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals and missed the rest of the series. The lefty initially injured his hip in March but continued to play through the pain. That turned out to be a costly move for Thomas, who was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer of 2017 and has played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards, and New Orleans Pelicans as well.
Thomas last played in an NBA game on April 12, 2021. He’s currently playing for Team USA in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifying, and the two-time All-Star stunningly admitted he’s open to ending his dream of playing in the NBA again.
Isaiah Thomas: “If the NBA isn’t an option, I’ve got to look at options overseas”
Thomas scored 21 points and hit a game-clinching 3-pointer with 13.3 seconds left to lead Team USA to a win over Cuba in their opening qualifier. After the game, the Washington native said he wants to play in the NBA but is open to playing overseas if no NBA team calls him.
“For me personally, the ultimate goal is to get back in the NBA,” Thomas said, via Real GM. “But I just love playing the game of basketball. So obviously, at some point, if the NBA isn’t an option, I’ve got to look at options overseas. But I’m in love with the game. No matter where I’m playing, I have no pride whatsoever. I love competing, and I love playing against the best players in the world.”
It has been sad to watch Thomas’ downfall due to injuries. After all, he was one of the most exciting players to watch when he was on the Celtics and healthy.
Isaiah Thomas was a superstar in Boston
Thomas began his career with the Sacramento Kings. He averaged 15.3 points with the Kings before getting traded to the Phoenix Suns in the summer of 2014. The scoring guard played 46 games with the Suns before getting sent to the Celtics on February 19, 2015. That turned out to be the best trade for Thomas, who took off in Boston.
IT averaged 24.7 points and 6.0 assists in 179 games with the Celtics. He made two All-Star teams and was an All-NBA player in 2016-17. Thomas scored a career-high 52 points on December 30, 2016, against the Miami Heat. He had 29 of his 52 points in the fourth quarter and was serenaded by Celtics fans with MVP chants.
Thomas averaged 22.6 points for the Celtics in 25 postseason games. He was primed to sign a lucrative contract extension with Boston, but his hip injury changed everything.
Hip injury ruined IT’s career
The Celtics knew Thomas’ hip injury was severe, so they had no choice but to trade him to the Cavs for Kyrie Irving in 2017. It was a controversial move since Thomas played a playoff game for Boston despite losing his sister in a car crash.
The Cavs were hopeful that Thomas could get back to 100%. However, the player they called “King in the Fourth” in Boston never rounded into form with Cleveland. He played only 15 games with the Cavs before getting traded to the Lakers at the 2018 trade deadline.
Thomas played 17 games for the Lakers to finish the 2017-18 season. He signed with the Nuggets in the summer of 2018, reuniting with Michael Malone, who coached him in Sacramento. Thomas played 12 games with the Nuggets before Malone removed him from the rotation.
In the summer of 2019, Thomas signed with the Wizards, who needed a point guard since John Wall was out. Thomas played 40 games for Washington and averaged 12.2 points. However, he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, who waived him.
Thomas’ stint with the Pelicans lasted only three games in 2020-21. He worked out for the Lakers before the start of the 2021-22 season, but LA signed Rajon Rondo instead.
NBA fans are certainly rooting for Thomas as he plays for Team USA. Hopefully, the veteran guard gets another chance in the NBA. Otherwise, he’ll have to take his talents overseas.