Since the blockbuster trade between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics was finalized last week, newly acquired Cavs point guard Isaiah Thomas has kept fairly quiet on the issue. That changed on Tuesday night when the 28-year-old All-Star posted a video to his Instagram page regarding the trade.
He continued to speak out on Wednesday morning when he published a heartfelt article to the Players’ Tribune about how the trade has not only affected him as a player, but as a person. While Thomas admitted that he will miss being a Celtic, he also spent much of the article discussing what excites him about being a member of the Cavaliers. Unsurprisingly, playing with LeBron James was at the top of the list.
Thomas explained that his son was the first to express excitement about his dad playing alongside James:
“James, my oldest — I guess he really is his father’s son, because he asked the same first question I did. ‘To where?’
“‘Cleveland. They traded me for Kyrie (Irving).’ And I’m pretty sure you know what came next.
“’LEBRON! LEBRON JAMES! Dad — Dad. You get to play with LeBron James!'”
Thomas then reflected on what it will mean to play with James:
“One, as my oldest said it: ‘LeBron James.’ Or put another way — I get to come over and join the best team in the East, and try to win a championship alongside the best basketball player in the world.”
He later went on to discuss how he, James, and the rest of the Cavs roster are sure to create defensive nightmares for opposing teams:
“From a basketball perspective, me on the Cavs is a match made in heaven. If you’ve watched any Celtics games last year, then you know how many times I would have to go through double and even triple teams, just to get my shot off. It ended up working fine for us — guys played great, and my shot was falling. But this year … man, it’s not even going to be a thing. You really going to throw three guys on me, when I’m sharing a court with the best basketball player on the planet? Nah, I don’t think so,” he said. “And that’s just LeBron. I look up and down this roster, and all I see is guys I can’t wait to play with: Kevin Love (reunited with my old AAU teammate!), Tristan Thompson, JR Smith, Iman Shumpert … it’s no accident to me that these guys have won the East three years running.”
Finally, Thomas admitted the responsibility that comes with being James’ teammate, and what it would mean to face the Celtics in a potential 2017 Eastern Conference Finals rematch:
“I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. But that won’t just be ‘the team I used to be on.’ That’s my old team. The elite offense, the 30-some national TV games, the becoming a place where free agents want to come and play — I feel like I helped build that. I helped create that,” he wrote. “And come playoffs, all of a sudden, it’ll be like, O.K., now destroy it. It’s sad, man. It’s just sad. But I didn’t come to Cleveland to lose.”
From reading the article it is clear that Thomas was both hurt by the trade and motivated by it. While he once wanted nothing more than to bring another NBA championship to Boston, it seems he is now more than ready to make sure that doesn’t happen anytime soon.