Isaiah Thomas holds “no grudges” as Washington Wizards take on Boston Celtics

Washington Wizards Isaiah Thomas (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Isaiah Thomas (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Isaiah Thomas, once an MVP candidate with Boston, was traded away, marking the end of an era. Now he makes his return to Boston as he looks to re-establish his career with the Washington Wizards.

In 2015, the Boston Celtics made a move that drastically changed the organization’s future. They traded for Isaiah Thomas. Thomas quickly established himself as one of the best point guards in the league while with Boston. In Washington’s Wednesday night game, Isaiah Thomas will return to Boston as a starting point guard for the first time since the blockbuster trade that ultimately sent him out of Boston and rocked the NBA landscape.

The Celtic Years

In his first year with the Celtics, Thomas helped lead them back to the playoffs after they missed it the year before. IT started to prove himself as a valuable piece as he finished second in Sixth Man of the Year voting. In 2016 IT took over as the starting point guard and posted a career year in 2017.

He averaged 28.9 points, which was the third-most in the league behind James Harden (29.1 pts) and Russell Westbrook (31.6 pts). He also dished out 5.9 assists while shooting 46.3% from the field, 37.9% from deep, and 90.9% from the charity stripe.

IT’s performance that season helped lead the Celtics to the number one seed for the first time since 2008. That year the Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals but lost to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games. That off-season IT was traded to the Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving. Since then, IT has bounced around and has now landed in Washington.

“I Don’t Hold No Grudges.”

Recently IT sat down with Bleacher Report and explained to Leo Sepkowitz how he was able to find his love for the game once more. In the interview, IT detailed how he reached his lowest point after the 2016-2017 season ended. During the playoff run, IT’s sister died, and he pushed through for her, dropping 33 points in his next game. In the Conference Finals, IT tore his labrum in his hip, which ended his season and would later cause future problems.

Then in the off-season IT was traded and was left devastated. His world seemed to be falling apart. He described the whole ordeal to Sepkowitz.

"Boston will always have my heart, because I went through a real-life situation there, and that city rolled with me.I don’t wish them bad luck. It’s just, you can’t duplicate what’s real. What we had was real. There was a time I was upset. I felt like it was handled the wrong way for a franchise player. But I don’t hold no grudges."

Now IT returns to a place he once thought of as home. The two teams will be on opposite paths, as his Wizards are rebuilding around Bradley Beal and the young players while the Celtics are once again contenders with championship aspirations.

And Thomas truly isn’t holding any grudges. He might want to go for 50 points and a win in his return to the Garden, but that won’t stop him from showing up to a Marcus Smart charity bowling event while he’s in town, either.

What Now?

After over two years of battling injuries, IT is healthy again and is quietly putting together the best year of his career since leaving Boston. In Washington, he’s finally getting something he hasn’t had in a while. A chance.

In six games with the Wizards, IT is averaging 13.2 points, 6.2 assists, and 2.2 rebounds while shooting 42.9% from the field, 36.4% from deep, and 100% from the free-throw line. He was recently promoted to the starting lineup, and, despite being a liability on defense, is taking some pressure off of Beal on the offensive end.

Some of his contributions don’t show up in the stats sheet, though. He is also providing leadership for the young players that are essential to the Wizards future, such as Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura. Who better to learn from than the man who keeps getting up after everything’s been thrown at him?

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IT has moved on and has no hard feelings towards Boston. Instead, he is just happy to feel wanted again. He explained to Bleacher Report how the Wizards persuaded him to sign by making him feel wanted again.

IT told Bleacher Report, “It was a want…’ We want you here. We want to be a part of your story. We want to help you get it back and more.’ I haven’t felt wanted since Boston.” Now heading back to where his career took off, IT will be reunited with the city that once welcomed him with open arms. With his path now on a different trajectory, he isn’t looking back. Instead, he’s focused on forging a new path with the Wizards.