Celtics

Isaiah Thomas discussed his disappointment at not getting another chance with the Celtics

"I love everything about the city of Boston."

Isaiah Thomas
Isaiah Thomas during the Hornets' win over the Cavaliers in March, 2022. AP Photo/Ron Schwane

Ahead of the Celtics’ Wednesday matchup with the Hornets, Isaiah Thomas offered some candid comments on how he feels at not being given a second chance to play in Boston.

Thomas, 33, played with the Celtics from 2015-2017. In that time, he made two All-Star Teams and helped lead Boston to an Eastern Conference Finals appearance.

Following the season in 2017, he was traded to Cleveland in a blockbuster deal that — among other details — sent Kyrie Irving to Boston. In the ensuing years, Thomas has been available for the Celtics to potentially re-sign him (including earlier in the 2021-2022 season).

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Yet Boston management, now led by president of basketball operations Brad Stevens, declined to do so.

When asked if he’s had “conversations about a reunion in Boston,” Thomas gave an earnest reply.

“I mean I’ve tried to have conversations about that,” Thomas replied. “It’s hard to speak on because I’ve opened my arms to try to come back in so many ways. It’s not even about playing and trying to pick up where I left off. I’m past that moment but I know there’s been times where I can help in that locker room.

“I’m not in there every day so I can’t speak on what’s going on. This is from the outside looking in,” Thomas added, “but I’ve felt there’s been times where Brad [Stevens] could make a call and give me an opportunity and it hasn’t happened.”

That Stevens — who coached Thomas during his time in Boston — hasn’t orchestrated a comeback for his former player has been particularly difficult for the veteran point guard.

“That’s very frustrating because of the relationship we have and the friendship we’ve been able to have over the years,” Thomas explained. “I felt like there have been opportunities to make that happen and it hasn’t so that’s disappointing in a lot of ways because I love Boston. I love everything about the city of Boston, and the people who have showed me the most love are obviously from Boston.”

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Celtics coach Ime Udoka commented on Thomas and the team’s view of that position.

“Regarding Isaiah, point guard was never really a position of need,” Udoka told reporters, adding that the team has adequate depth.

Still, as Thomas pointed out, his desire to Boston wasn’t necessarily predicated on playing time.

“It’s frustrating but I’ve done my part in so many ways of trying to make a comeback, make a reunion, and it’s not even about playing,” said Thomas. “I could just help, I tell everyone that, I can help without putting the ball in the basket. A lot of people understand that and know that.”

“Things happen, I’m not faulting anybody but I just thought with how close we are and how close I am to a person like that, I thought there would be an opportunity but there isn’t,” Thomas concluded. “You move on and wish them well. I still have a lot of love for everyone who impacted my life in the city of Boston.”

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