98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
Three years and a half years removed from nearly willing the Celtics to the NBA Finals, and with another hip procedure behind him, free agent point guard Isaiah Thomas feels back. For real this time.
Talking with the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, the 31-year-old Thomas touched on his hip, which underwent a ‘resurfacing’ earlier this year. That, according to Thomas, created more room in the joint opposed to the ‘bone-on-bone’ feeling Thomas had before, and has given Thomas his full range of motion.
“I really feel like I’m back,” Thomas told Himmelsbach.
And that feeling came following a competitive five-on-five game with fellow NBA stars out in Los Angeles.
“Those guys were like, ‘Damn, welcome back. You really look like yourself,’” Thomas told Himmelsbach. “That only gave me more confidence to be able to play the game again. I mean, I was blowing by people. I haven’t blown by anybody since I had a Celtics uniform on. When I was able to blow by MVP-caliber players, that told me my burst and power and speed are there.”
Playing for the Wizards in what was his fourth post-Boston landing spot, Thomas averaged 12.2 points and shot a career-best 41.3 percent from deep in 40 games with Washington prior to a trade-and-waive from the Clippers.
If Thomas is truly back — and that’d be one hell of a recovery, all things considered — basketball will be getting one of the most exciting players in the world, and standing at all of 5-foot-9.
At his best, Thomas was a borderline MVP candidate for the 2016-17 Celtics, averaging a career-best 28.9 points per game, which was the second-best single season in franchise history, trailing only Larry Bird and his 29.9 PPG in 1988.
Unfortunately for Thomas, however, a reunion in Boston feels unlikely following the signing of backup guard Jeff Teague, and drafting of guards Romeo Langford, Tremont Waters, and Payton Pritchard over the last two seasons.
But the team that does take a chance on him is, for the first time since his C’s days, getting a motivated and healthy Thomas.
“Whoever’s going to give me a chance will see that I can be a big piece, I can be a small piece, I can be whatever a team needs me to bring.” Thomas offered. “I just want to be a part of something, and I want to help.”