Re-posted from our original May 20, 2017 article…
As Isaiah Thomas exits from the postseason, basketball fans may well appreciate his contribution in providing some of the few exciting and downright heroic moments of these playoffs.
(A playoffs —playoffs did you say? —which have had too few of them.)
The following things happened after the tragic passing of his sister. They happened after multiple dental surgeries. They happened after, according to reports, suffering a hip injury that might have ended the season for some players.
— His 53-point explosion against the Wizards, most of them coming in the 4th quarter and overtime.
— Leading his team back from a 2-0 deficit against the Bulls.
The Bulls lost Rondo after game 2, but few expected IT — especially under the circumstances — to come roaring back in 4 straight games.
— Bouncing up — what, about 5 or 10 times a game? — after taking a foul or simply mopping the floor for a loose ball.
Getting in the chest of guys like Morris and Lopez.
In general, backing down to no one.
We now know, of course, that he was playing hurt in more ways than one.
If Brett Favre played basketball, he would be Isaiah Thomas.
His tenacity and ruggedness, at (generously) 5-9…. was certainly up there in the annals of under-6-foot performances.
(In fact, if we credit the official record which lists Iverson at 6 feet, Thomas become the shortest player ever to lead his team to a conference finals. In so doing we credit Calvin Murphy for helping to take the Houston Rockets to the NBA finals — with Moses Malone — in 1981.)
Here’s to the fella Boston fans like to call “the little guy” — Isaiah Thomas.