Celtics Coach Brad Stevens Excited For Former Star Isaiah Thomas’ Return to NBA

Published 04/02/2021, 11:12 PM EDT
WASHINGTON, DC -NOVEMBER 24: Washington Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas (4) looks for the foul to be called late in the game against the Sacramento Kings at Capital One Arena November 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Sacramento Kings beat the Washington Wizards 113-106. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)


Rarely do players shorter than six feet do well in the NBA. And it is rarer to see them play at the highest level. Former Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas managed it despite being just 5’9. After being a free agent all season, he is finally returning to the NBA now.

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The New Orleans Pelicans are bringing back Thomas, albeit on just a 10-day contract. It is a chance for him to prove himself, and his former coach Brad Stevens has a lot of hopes.

During a recent interview, he expressed his excitement regarding Thomas’ return. “He was so special here and so special to be around that you want the best for him. I’m sure Isaiah’s going to kill it when he gets that opportunity. I’m sure it’s going to lead to a long-term opportunity,” Stevens said.

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Looking back at Isaiah Thomas’ playing days with the Celtics

The Boston Celtics traded for Thomas midway through the 2014-15 season. He came off the bench and showed promise. In the following season, the Celtics made him a starter, and he didn’t disappoint. Thomas got off the ground running and in his first full season with them, he got his first All-Star appearance. But the next season was the big one.

In the 2016-17 season, Thomas averaged 28.9 points and was the NBA’s third-highest scorer. He shot 46% from the field and 37% from three. He earned the nickname ‘King in the Fourth’ because of his performances in the season.

Thomas led the Celtics to the number one seed in the East with a 53-29 record. However, he still finished only fifth in MVP voting, despite a remarkable campaign.

Allen Iverson at 6’0 is the shortest player to win an NBA MVP award and Thomas came close to beating him that season.

He continued his form in the playoffs and had a historic 53 point game against the Wizards, on his sister’s birthday, who had passed away just some days back. He played despite the pain and did his best for the team. His heroics helped the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2012.

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But sadly, during the Conference Finals against the Cavaliers, Thomas had a hip injury. In his two years with the Celtics, Thomas braved many injuries and played through it for the team.

And how did they reward him? Just months after the playoffs, they traded him away to the Cavs. Since then, his career has spiraled down.

Now, he has a chance to redeem himself with the Pelicans who could use a leader like him.

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Aaron Mathew

1525 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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