Isaiah Thomas finally made his debut for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night as he took to the court for the first time in seven months following a hip injury.
The two-time All-Star played 19 minutes off the bench and produced an impressive performance as he scored 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting in a thumping 127-110 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Thomas looked good in his comeback but, unfortunately, will not feature in the blockbuster showdown against his former team, the Boston Celtics, on Wednesday night.
Head coach Tyronn Lue already confirmed that IT would be on a strict minutes restriction and will be held out of back-to-backs, automatically ruling him out of the game at TD Garden.
Whether he was scheduled to play or not, the Celtics were planning to honor the diminutive point guard with a video tribute after he spent two successful seasons in Beantown and became a fans' favorite.
However, the franchise is now expected to scrap those plans at the request of Thomas himself.
A Celtics spokesperson confirmed to Bleacher Report that the 28-year-old kindly asked the C's not to play any video and they are happy to comply.
The Cavs guard explained his reasoning behind this decision as he responded to a critic on Twitter with a lengthy post.
According to Bleacher Report, the spokesperson said the Celtics plan to honor Thomas at a later date.
He spent just over two years in Boston and blossomed into one of the best point guards in the league, earning All-Star and All-NBA nods for the first time in his career.
Last season, he was a legitimate MVP candidate - finishing fifth in voting - as he averaged a career-high 28.9 points and led the C's to the number one spot in the east and the conference finals.
But despite his achievements in Massachusetts, they made the decision to trade him to Cleveland in the summer - along with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and multiple picks - in exchange for Kyrie Irving.
Speaking earlier in the week, Thomas admitted that even though he would love to play, he has no problems missing the encounter and is happy to wait until their next meeting to go up against his former employers.
"It won't be that tough 'cause I know where I am right now. I wouldn't wanna put myself out there to just try to force it," he told reporters Monday. "I can wait until February. I think we play them in February again. I can wait and put on a show then."
He won't have too long to wait as the two teams will square off in Boston again on February 11.News Now - Sport News