To say that Isaiah Thomas and the city of Boston were a little sweet on each other is a fairly sizeable understatement. The plucky 28-year-old point guard has a lot of qualities that resonate pretty deeply with the New England town. So his trade to Cleveland – made as part of the deal that got Kyrie Irving to the TD Garden – came as a shock to many, but most of all to Thomas himself.
Everything about the way Thomas played displayed a deep love for the Celtics and Boston writ large. But professional sports are a business, at the end of the day, and players are sadly commodities.
Thomas has an on-going documentary series, The Book of Isaiah, being produced by the ever-excellent Players’ Tribune. And the cameras just so happened to be rolling the very moment Thomas took the fateful phone call from GM Danny Ainge.
We all know trades are an inevitability of pro sports, but rarely do you ever get a glimpse of the actual human element of them; a player suddenly told his time at a team he loves is up, and that his whole life is about to be uprooted thanks to a seemingly routine business deal on paper.
Isaiah Thomas processing the news that Danny Ainge traded him is pretty intense to watch pic.twitter.com/9JBhGYfSZ7— AP (@Ananth_Pandian) December 20, 2017
That poor bloody guy. He quite clearly loves the city and found great support from it, evident in his now-famous game 33-point game against Chicago the day after his sister was killed in a car crash.
His career at the Cavs has gotten off to a rocky start thanks to injuries, but the good news there is that reports assert he could be on the floor playing in a Cleveland uniform as early as next week.
While that’s certainly good news for him, it’s likely never going to be enough to completely erase the sting of copping a blindside like that.
That’s the part of sports you just never see.