By now, pretty much every angle of the Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving trade has been covered.
However, Thomas dropped some more interesting information to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com on Thursday.
After finding out about Thomas’ trade, his Celtics teammates were apparently extremely shocked and even angry about how the organization decided to get rid of the face of the franchise.
“After all you did, that’s how they do you,” Thomas told Vardon. “That was everybody’s text message. … I can’t control that and my teammates know what I meant to that team and the organization knows and that’s what matters the most. The people I was around each and every day.”
“But I think not just myself, everybody was surprised. Everybody,” he claimed. Given the incredible individual season he had last year, the NBA community was collectively surprised that Boston would offload him, even if they’d be able to land Irving.
Thomas admitted that he was (and still is) hurt that Boston traded him after seemingly finding his true identity there, but he also claimed that the trade could end up being a blessing in disguise.
“It definitely caught me off guard, but it also woke me up,” Thomas said of being traded. “It made me realize that this is a business and anybody other than probably LeBron James or Kevin Durant or those type of guys can be traded. I prayed on it, I thought about it, I slept on it and I’m thankful for this opportunity.
“I’m blessed to be able to be traded to a situation where–realistically– we can win a championship next year,” he added.
Teammate Jae Crowder, who was traded with Thomas, Ante Zizic and two draft picks to the Cavs, revealed his initial conversation with IT after the deal was announced.
“I got the phone call, he said, ‘Good thing I’m going with you,'” Crowder said, relaying a conversation he’d had with Thomas. “That makes the transition a lot easier for us. I just got traded to Boston a couple months before he did (in 2014-15) so, and they was talking about tanking and we was like, ‘What’s that? Lose on purpose? That’s not going to happen, so from that point on we clicked and we knew we were on the same page with basketball and from that point on the rest is history.”
While Thomas won’t likely be on the court during the first meeting between the two teams on October 17, it will undoubtedly be a drama-filled meeting between the two organizations that met in the Eastern Conference Finals last season and who are fully expected to meet there again this year.