On April 15, 2017, Chyna Thomas, the sister of Celtics PG Isaiah Thomas perished in a car accident on Interstate 5 in Washington State. Reports later showed 22-year-old Chyna may have fallen asleep at the wheel leading to the tragic accident that will forever have a profound effect on her loved ones.
Back in Boston, the Celtics were getting ready to take on the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the Eastern Conference Finals. Devastated by the tragic loss of his baby sister, Thomas told a source at ESPN he wanted to give up and quit.
“When I found out the news, I wanted to give up and quit. Never in my life have I thought about quitting.
“I realized quitting isn’t an option. That’s the easy way out. I will keep going for my sister because I know she wouldn’t want me to stop. I love you, Chyna, and I miss you so much, and everything I do for the rest of my life will be for you.”
Quitting was not an option. Thomas played in all six games against the Chicago Bulls. The raw emotion from his grief written all over his face. Thomas scored 33 pts in game 1 and 4 helping to catapult the Celtics over the Bulls.
“It’s not the size of the man, but the size of his heart that matter.” Evander Holyfield
No one can ever question the heart of Isaiah Thomas. In just three seasons with the Boston, Thomas became the face of the Boston Celtics. Now, that face is gone. Replaced by a familiar face, Kyrie Irving, not a face well revered by Boston fans. In a blink of an eye, Thomas is now a rival, while a rival is now the face of the Boston Celtics. Such is the business.
Thomas had one year remaining on his contract and a questionable hip. So, the Celtics gave up entirely too much to make up for their poignant offseason. The terms of the trade are as follows:
Celtics get : Kyrie Irving
Cavs get: Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, Net 2018 unprotected first and a 2020 second round pick.
Dan Gilbert is on cloud nine right about now.
Irving wanted out of Cleveland. He made that fact abundantly clear. Living in the shadow of Lebron James was no longer working. Nevertheless, going to the long time rival of James is the icing on the cake. Leaving many to believe that the only star player that willingly enjoys playing with James is Dwayne Wade.
The Australian born Irving is only 25 and is undoubtedly one of the top point guards in the league. However, was he worth what the Celtics gave up to get him? Is Kyrie Irving the piece that the Celtics need to beat the Cavs in the East? There has been a lot of strain on Danny Ainge to make a move after his mediocre off-season, Gordon Hayward being his top acquisition. Was this the move he needed to make?
The Celtics made a colossal mistake on not making the effort to acquire Demarcus Cousins to join ex-teammate Thomas in Boston. Now Cousins is with the brow ready to do damage in the Big Easy. While, Thomas has retreated to the mistake by the lake.
October is right around the corner. The drama has just begun to unfold. What we are going to see is a pissed off James and Thomas against a defiant Irving. It all comes to head on October 17th when the Cavs face the Celtics at the Quicken Loans Arena. Expect the unexpected.
Celtics fans will embrace Irving and mourn the loss of Thomas. While Cavs fans will revere Irving for betraying James and welcome Thomas with open arms. However, those thoughts will be a distant memory come playoff time. Winning is the ultimate goal.