Wizards’ Isaiah Thomas knows ‘for a fact’ he’s ‘going to be an All-Star again’
Washington Wizards point guard Isaiah Thomas has endured a nightmare two years since suffering a right hip injury in the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, journeying through the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Denver Nuggets in search of kickstarting his career again.
Now a member of the Wizards, the 5-foot-9 dynamo is aiming high once again:
“I’m going to be an All-Star again, for sure,” Thomas told Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. “I know that for a fact.”
Thomas was last an All-Star in 2017, when he amassed 28.9 points per game (third in the NBA) and ranked as the best fourth-quarter scorer in the league. Two years have passed since, and Thomas is now at best the second scoring option behind franchise star Bradley Beal.
Yet many people still believe in Thomas, most of them still with the Boston Celtics organization — the team that traded him shortly after he suffered his hip injury, getting Kyrie Irving in return.
For one, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is a big believer:
“I’d never bet against Isaiah,” said Stevens.
Stevens still recalls how Thomas ramped up his play after coming over from Sacramento:
“When we added Isaiah, it just really went to a different level for the years he was there,” said Stevens. “He was infectious. His work ethic was contagious. He was a competitor.”
For assistant coach Jerome Allen, Thomas is still an all-time favorite:
“Every. Single. Trip,” Allen recalled. “What I watched [in] him over the course of two seasons, it was nothing less than amazing but more so about how he prepared.”
Allen admits he still keeps a pair of green Kobe Bryant signature shoes that Thomas wore with the names of Thomas’ sons stitched on the inside:
“That’s something I’ll probably keep until they put me in the dirt,” said Allen. “He’s my favorite player of all time.”
There are many people hoping Thomas can regain that level of recognition, from former teammates to coaches to fans who have followed his career as an underdog trying to make a name for himself in a league of top dogs.