Isaiah Thomas just put on the performance of a lifetime, but it wasn't on an NBA hardcourt. The 2-time All-Star blew up for 81 points in Jamal Crawford's Pro-Am league, paying unintentional homage to Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant.
The man dropped 81 points and defenders alike. For a brief period, he was looking like the Isaiah Thomas who was a near 30-points scorer who finished Top 5 in MVP voting, even if it was just against amateurs and lower-tier professionals.
— Overtime (@overtime) August 8, 2021
.@isaiahthomas dropped 81 POINTS in a Pro-Am game 😳
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 8, 2021
But ever since that MVP-caliber season in 2016-17, Isaiah Thomas has never gotten a chance to shine. It's been a mix of injuries, lack of opportunities, and depleted athleticism that have led the NBA to shun the former Boston Celtics star. That's why in the moment right after scoring 81 points, IT got all kinds of emotional.
.@isaiahthomas let it all out after dropping 81 in a Pro Am game 💯 *NSFW*
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 11, 2021
Isaiah Thomas is no longer the game-changing scorer that he once was before he injured his hip back in 2017. But clearly he can still put the ball in the basket with the best of them. It remains to be seen if any team will pick up IT before the season starts. But after this 81-point game, and the publicity that came with it, perhaps a team comes calling sooner rather than later.