Celtics

Marcus Smart explained why ‘it means a lot’ to have Isaiah Thomas show up at his charity event

“Me and IT have been here, battling for the years we did."

Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas were teammates for three seasons in Boston.

Marcus Smart was surprised by an old friend at his annual bowling bash to benefit his YounGameChanger foundation on Thursday night.

Former Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas unexpectedly showed up at the event, which was held at Kings Back Bay. Smart appeared overjoyed by seeing his former teammate of three seasons surprisingly show up, hugging him and dapping him for several moments in a video that went viral among Celtics fans Thursday evening.

Smart explained why “it means a lot” to have Thomas show up at an event of his like that on Friday.

“Me and IT have been here, battling for the years we did,” Smart told reporters Friday. “With me and him, it’s always been more than what’s on the court. I look at IT as a brother. Just keeping up with him after all those years and staying in touch. It felt good to see him here because I had no idea that he was even coming. The fact that he took time to show up here means a lot.”

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As Smart mentioned, he and Thomas had a few good seasons together in Boston. In the middle of Smart’s rookie season in 2014-15, the Celtics traded for Thomas, who helped the team get hot at the end of that regular season to reach the playoffs.

Smart positioned himself as the backup point guard to Thomas following that season, which ended up being Thomas’s two best seasons. Thomas was named an All-Star in the 2015-16 season as Smart began to earn some recognition as one of the league’s best backcourt defenders en route to helping the Celtics in 48 games. The two grew even more the next season — especially Thomas, who scored 28.9 points per game, as they helped the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference finals.

That was the end of the duo’s time together. Thomas was part of the trade that brought Kyrie Irving to Boston, getting shipped out to Cleveland. Thomas has struggled to find a consistent NBA home since then, playing for seven teams over the previous five seasons.

Thomas, 33, is still a free agent.

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