Before Celtics-Wizards, Isaiah Thomas catches up with former teammates

"It's good to see him back on the floor where he belongs."

Isaiah Thomas exhorts the fans to make some noise during the team introductions. Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Isaiah Thomas can’t help but poke fun at Jaylen Brown’s hair, flat top or not.

“That thing is still ugly,” Thomas said of Brown’s new cleanly shaven look. “I don’t know what he can do because it‘s ugly when he had it and it’s ugly when he don’t. But that’s my guy.”

Brown — who was teammates with Thomas for one year, his rookie season, in Boston — said Thomas actually told him in person that he liked the haircut, although he’s well-aware of Thomas’s tendency to talk trash both on and off the court. Brown, too, dished out a little heat, despite initially saying he wasn’t going to engage in the pair’s ongoing hair feud.


“I’m not the type of person to fight fire with fire,” Brown said. “Sometimes you got to show somebody a little love and maybe they’ll let up on you. I’ll show I.T. a little love, even though his hair is suspect.”

Brown proceeded to call out Thomas’s summer braids, likening them to those of  rapper Trey Songz when he recorded the 2007 track “Can’t Help But Wait.”

“I appreciate his attempt of what he was trying to do,” Brown said. “Bring his youth back.”

All kidding aside, there appears to be nothing but love between Thomas and Brown, as well as nothing but love between Thomas and Marcus Smart, the only other Celtic remaining since Thomas was on the roster. Thomas, now with the Washington Wizards, was among the crew at Back Bay’s Kings Dining & Entertainment Tuesday night to support Smart’s annual bowling bash, which raises money for his foundation.

In town for Wednesday’s Celtics-Wizards game, Thomas had marked the date on his calendar once he realized he’d already be in Boston. He’s kept in contact with Smart since he was traded in August 2017, in addition to the entire coaching staff. Coach Brad Stevens and Thomas also caught up briefly at Smart’s event.


“We’ll be friends forever,” Thomas said.

Of course, there was more trash talk throughout the night. Addressing the crowd with Smart, Thomas requested his former teammate not to pull any funny business if they match up against each other Wednesday night. Smart drew 14 regular-season charges last year.

“Please don’t flop tomorrow,” Thomas said, inciting laughter from the crowd. “I know all your moves. I just started playing and I’m not trying to get into foul trouble.”

Thomas will be returning to TD Garden as a starter for the first time since the blockbuster deal that sent him to Cleveland. Things haven’t gone too smoothly since, with stints in Los Angeles and Denver, but Brown, Smart, and Stevens are all rooting for Thomas to find his place in the league again.

“You can’t keep people like that down for long,” Brown said. “It’s only a matter for him to have a breakout game or a breakout season or something. It’s good to see him back on the floor where he belongs.”


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