It took nearly two years, but Denver Nuggets guard Isaiah Thomas finally got his moment in Boston. Fans at the TD Garden showered the former Celtics star with a thunderous standing ovation as a video tribute for him played on the jumbotron.
As this was happening, Thomas' eyes started to get watery. Following the tribute, he acknowledged the fans with his signature “IT Time” pose, which he flashed every time he nailed a big shot during his two-and-a-half year stint in Boston.
After the game, where Thomas' current team in the visiting Nuggets, defeated the Celtics, 114-105, the two-time All-Star admitted that he was nearly moved to tears during that special moment, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.
“I was emotional. I almost cried.”
“It was special.”
“That was everything. I appreciate them for doing that.
“That means a lot.”
Indeed, it was a special night for a special player. IT had his best years in Boston, especially in that 2016-17 season, where he was named to the All-NBA Second Team and finished fifth in MVP voting.
Thomas played his heart out for the franchise. He had countless special performances wearing the Green and White. He became “The King of the Fourth” for them.
But nothing was more special than his 53-point night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals on the birthday of his late sister, Chyna. He led this heroic effort despite carrying the burden of losing her just a week ago.
And nearly two years later, he finally returned to Boston, no longer the All-NBA player he once was when he was with them. But for just this night, he got to re-live that life again.