A couple of years ago, there was no more extraordinary story in the NBA than point guard Isaiah Thomas. Thomas single-handedly reinvigorated the Boston Garden for the legendary but beleaguered Celtics, driving the green deep into the playoffs with riveting performances including a 53-point effort on what would have been his late sister’s 23rd birthday.
But the NBA game moves quickly. The Celtics, in a move that must have caused GM Danny Ainge major anguish, let Thomas go to bring in Kyrie Irving. Irving, to the Celtics faithful’s regret, never fulfilled his promise as a Celtic. Now Thomas, after bouncing around a bit, is back ready to thrive as the new ball handler for the Washington Wizards. (Hey, that’s who he dropped the 53 on.)
But Thomas is the same striving never-quit attacker he has always been, even if he’s not in the limelight right now. He’s honing and sharing his ability to inspire and succeed as a coach at Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy, where he gave the great inspirational speech above. Thomas tells kids they can play in the NBA, but he also mentions that they can be doctors. IT is the real deal.