Isaiah Thomas is one tough dude.
Just over a week after his sister's tragic passing, the All-Star point guard is somehow still finding a way to carry his Boston Celtics, having scored 33 points to lead his squad to a 104-95 road win over the Chicago Bulls yesterday to knot their playoff series at 2-2. Afterward, Thomas sounded almost in awe of himself and how he's managing to get the job done given such gut-wrenching circumstances.
"Mentally and emotionally, I'm not here, so I just feed off what the guys give me," Thomas addressed reporters after the game for the first time since his 22-year-old sister, Chyna, died in a one-vehicle car accident on April 15, a day before the Celtics-Bulls opening-round series began.
With his sons, James and Jaiden, joining him at the postseason podium, Thomas added, "[My teammates] give me a lot of confidence. I can't do it without those guys. They believe in me. Being here is what makes me, I guess, sane. It makes me feel somewhat normal through these tough times."
It has been an emotional whirlwind for Thomas, 28, over the past eight days. After leading the Celtics to a No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the All-Star point guard learned about his sister's tragic passing a day before Game 1 of the Celtics-Bulls series. Yet, Thomas chose to play, scoring 33 points in that Game 1 loss.
After the Celtics dropped the second game in the series, Thomas flew back home to Washington to be with his family before rejoining his squad in Chicago on Friday, leading them to back-to-back wins over the weekend to tie the series at two games apiece.
Along the trying way, Thomas has earned nothing but respect and love from NBA players and fans.
Thomas and his Celtics will face the Bulls in a pivotal Game 5 on Wednesday night in Boston.
BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.
(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)