Isaiah Thomas has come a long way in the last couple of years. The Washington-native was the 60th and final pick in the 2011 draft, but under five years later he is driving the Boston Celtics to a possible homecourt advantage in the playoffs and secured All-Star honours for the first time in Toronto this term.
One could speculate that Thomas' meteoric rise is down to being initially overlooked or simply blossoming after being given the right opportunity. Whatever it is, the 27-year-old seems determined to continue his impressive trajectory and thinks he knows just how to do it.
Part of that strategy is picking the brains of all-time greats in any kind of field. Thomas thinks he can identify with four-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady as two guys who came from humble expectations and defied the odds.
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Thomas said: "Coming into the NFL, he wasn't supposed to be a Pro Bowler, wasn't supposed to be a franchise player, wasn't supposed to win Super Bowls and be arguably the best quarterback ever."
The Celtics point guard has been vocal in his desire to meet Brady and wants to add the New England Patriots veteran to his list of superstar guides.
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"I got the chance to talk to Kobe. I'm real good friends with Floyd Mayweather, so I get to pick guys-like-that's brains," Thomas said. "I just would like to sit down and actually meet [Brady] and also just pick his brain about winning championships and how he goes about his day, how he prepares.
"I like his preparation to everything," Thomas continued. "I like to pick guys' brains, especially the best in the business, best in their field, and see what he has to say to me. Hopefully, I can make it happen."
The Celtics number four has been posting impressive numbers this campaign that has been a major driving force behind the most successful franchise in NBA history surging up to third place in the East.
Career highs of 21.6 points and 6.7 assists a night forced his way into the All-Star game and Thomas now looks set to take part in only the second postseason of his career, after being swept by the Cavaliers in 2015.
Thomas feels he can become a leader for the Celtics and as part of his growth, he is seeking to learn the necessary components from an illustrious list of legends.
"I just want to grow," said Thomas. "Not just being a basketball player but being a leader in all aspects, all facets of the game. And why not learn from the best? Especially, I think it's better to learn from different guys in different sports in how they lead and how they get respect from their teammates.
"Like I said, I would love to pick his [Brady's] brain, ask him a few questions. I got to do it with Kobe. I got to do it with Floyd Mayweather, always do it with him and things like that. [Peyton] Manning's retired, so I can't do it with him. So I'd love to do it with Brady."
With only 18 games of the regular season left, the NBA will have an opportunity to see just how much Thomas has learned. If he does get his sit down with Brady, the young Celtics might just gain that extra winning edge.