Isaiah Thomas may be listed at 5’9” and 185 pounds, but that has never prevented him from being one of the toughest players on the court throughout his career.
Often times throwing his body around in an attempt to draw fouls, Thomas has proven to be a warrior, determined to match up with his opponents in spite of his diminutive stature.
In his third game of the season for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, Thomas had nine points on 3-of-11 shooting along with a rebound, three assists and three turnovers in 19 minutes against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
All in all, it was an ugly performance for both Thomas and his team, who lost 127-99. But, the box score alone doesn’t fully explain just how ugly it was.
In the third quarter, Thomas made an upward swing at a driving Andrew Wiggins, but instead of hitting the ball, he caught Wiggins in the neck area. Check out the scary play below:
Although there didn’t seem to be any ill intent by Thomas (since he immediately reached down to check on Wiggins on the floor after the play), the officials reviewed the play and assessed a flagrant foul 2, thus ejecting IT with 6:47 left in the third quarter.
It was the fifth flagrant foul of Thomas’ career and his fourth ejection.
After the game, Thomas made it clear that he was going for the ball.
"I've gotten numerous steals like that, going out like that," Thomas said, per Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. "It just happened I hit him in the throat. I apologized right away because I didn't mean to do that. I'm just glad he's all right.”
"I just made sure he was good, made sure he knew I had no intention of trying to hurt him or hit him in the throat," Thomas added, referring to what he said to Wiggins after the play.
Coach Tyronn Lue wasn’t surprised with the officials’ ruling.
"I know anything around the head is really ... especially if it looks bad, you're going to probably be thrown out,” he said after the game.
Thomas blamed his performance on rust, claiming that so much time off made it hard to step back in an dominate right away.
"That's just seven months being off," Thomas explained. "I'm slowly ... the only time I can get my rhythm or try to get it is during games, we don't practice. Working out is not helping now, I'm past that stage.
"I've got to try to figure out a better way to start the game off. But I know one thing, I'll always be aggressive, I'll always put pressure on the defense and I'm always going to try to make plays. No matter how the game's going, I'm going to continue to be who I am,” he concluded.
Since he isn’t a repeat offender or considered to be a dirty player, it will be interesting to see if the league decides to suspend him for the foul or not.News Now - Sport News