Yahoo- “Boston is going to be all love,” says Isaiah Thomas of his eventual return to the city that made him an NBA star —except for one thing.
In a new story with Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins, the Cavaliers guard discusses the trade that sent him to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving over the summer and his frustration with Celtics general manager Danny Ainge.
“I’ve been looking at this wall for five hours,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens texted Thomas after the trade, “trying to figure out what to say to you.” When Sacramento let Thomas walk in 2014, he left town telling himself, “F--- Sacramento. I’m about to kill those dudes.” When Phoenix exiled him the following winter, he pledged, “O.K., now they’re gonna get it.” But there will be no revenge tour this time. “Boston is going to be all love,” he vows, with one exception. “I might not ever talk to Danny again. That might not happen. I’ll talk to everybody else. But what he did, knowing everything I went through, you don’t do that, bro. That’s not right. I’m not saying eff you. But every team in this situation comes out a year or two later and says, ‘We made a mistake.’ That’s what they’ll say, too.”
Admittedly, Isaiah Thomas' declaration that he may never again speak to the General Manager that ultimately benefited from the surreal season that cost him the health of his hip before trading him seems a bit outlandish. After all, Danny Ainge simply did what any good executive would have done in striking while the iron was hot. It sucks that the deal came on the heels of a postseason that saw Isaiah Thomas battle through the tragic death of his sister to carry his beloved Boston Celtics through to the Conference Finals. However, an undersized point guard who has more than likely peaked wasn't about to get a max contract from a franchise with championship aspirations, no matter how imperative he was to the resurgence of said franchise. So, while I completely respect Isaiah Thomas' resentment, the idea that he's going to give his former employer the eternal silent treatment for doing his job well seems a bit excessive.
That is, until you consider that Isaiah Thomas and Danny Ainge probably didn't speak that frequently anyway. It's not really my place to make assumptions about the extent of their relationship, but I highly doubt that a 28 year old player is conceding their weekly wing night by giving the cold shoulder to his 58 year old former employer. When Isaiah Thomas saw Danny Ainge's name pop up across the screen of his cell phone in late August, I'm going to guess that he didn't have high hopes that he was looking to ask him if he wanted to accompany him to see the newest summer blockbuster. Statistically speaking, he was much more likely to be letting him know that he was actually a central figure in one. I know the NBA is far from the average work environment, but exactly how many of your former bosses do you keep in close, personal contact with? Point being, this doesn't resemble a Westbrook/Durant type split as much as it does the all-too-common complete disassociation with someone twice your age that no longer makes you scheduled payments.
I'm not denying that Isaiah Thomas is pissed off at how things ended in Boston, and - apparently more so - with the person that was responsible for the unceremonious conclusion to his tenure. Just saying, he wouldn't have to be "smoke billowing from the ears" enraged to avoid engaging a man twice his age in conversation for the rest of his career, especially when the only thing they would have in common is the organization that they no longer have in common.