Boston Celtics: Isaiah Thomas still salty over Kyrie Irving trade

BOSTON, MA - MAY 19: Isaiah Thomas
BOSTON, MA - MAY 19: Isaiah Thomas /

Former Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas still feels a certain way being traded, but still has a love affair with Boston.

With the 2017-18 NBA season just days away, the blockbuster deal between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers that swapped All-Star guards Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving is about to play out on the basketball court.

While both teams are adjusting to their revamped rosters, Thomas is still feeling a certain way about being dealt from the team he helped build and grew to love. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, the 5-foot-9 star opened up about the trade that capped off a very emotional year.

"“None of it makes any sense,” Thomas told SI.  “It still doesn’t make any sense.  I’m still asking ‘What happened?’  It’s a trade you make in NBA2K.  It’s not a trade you make in real life.”"

But real life is exactly what it is and with the NBA being a business, the blockbuster deal that sent Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and that coveted Brooklyn pick to the Cavs in exchange for Kyrie Irving, was something Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge felt he needed to do.

While Thomas understands the deal and has now embraced playing with LeBron James, it still hurts.  It hurts because he made the Boston Celtics cool again and a destination city that landed Al Horford and eventually Gordon Hayward.  In a bit of irony, Thomas leading the Celtics back to the NBA spotlight is what made playing in the green and white enticing for Irving.

Love for Boston

BOSTON, MA – MAY 15: Isaiah Thomas
BOSTON, MA – MAY 15: Isaiah Thomas /

Okay, some of that credit has to go to Celtics young head coach Brad Stevens, who put Thomas in position to succeed and reach his potential.  In the interview, Thomas touches on Stevens’ text to him following the trade and how emotional he was.  Although still very salty about the deal Ainge pulled off, coach Stevens and his time in Boston are reasons his love for the city and team will not turn to complete angst.

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"“Boston is going to be all love,” Thomas confessed.  “I might not ever talk to Danny again.  That might not happen.  I’ll talk to everybody else.  But what he did, knowing everything I went through, you don’t do that, bro.  That’s not right.  I’m not saying eff you.  But every team in this situation comes out a year or two later and says, “We made a mistake.”  That’s what they’ll say, too.”"

Will it be a mistake for Boston?

It could turn out that way if the team is unable to lock up Kyrie Irving to a long deal.  Otherwise, the younger All-Star guard is more talented than Thomas and adds a different element to the team. In that respect, the team is built to go further than it could’ve gone with Isaiah Thomas as the focal star.

The little man with the big-time scoring ability gave Boston a lot and we owe him for that, but Ainge recognized the team reached its height and had to be ruthless in his decision to move on.  Inside IT’s heart, he will may never embrace that.  He is too competitive to admit it.  But, inside his basketball mind, he knows why Ainge did what he did.

Next: Boston Celtics: Terry Rozier is a little sparkplug of excitement

That’s why he continues to speak out about it.