Isaiah Thomas didn’t spend long in Boston, but he definitely made a mark on its fan base and apparently on its biggest sports star.
In a emotional and honest piece with the Players Tribune, Thomas said that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reached out after he was dealt to Cleveland.
Thomas discussed how Brady’s sympathetic text actually stung, as he’d hoped to build the same kind of legacy in Boston as the Patriots star:
At first, honestly, it stung a little. I look at a career like Tom’s with the Patriots — and that’s exactly the kind of career that I had hoped to be building here with the Celtics: Being this low draft pick … coming in without acclaim … and then — through hard work, and determination, and some talent that maybe people had overlooked — just starting to win, and win, and win. And then establishing a legacy of winning. And then staying in Boston, winning titles and competing like hell, for the rest of my career — until I was considered one of the all-time Boston greats.
Upon more reflection though, Thomas clearly realized that most players shipped out of Boston after such a short tenure weren’t getting that kind of love from arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play football:
But then I thought about the text some more … and I think I changed my perspective a little. I think I realized that, like, Yo — that’s Tom ****ing Brady. And I was only here for two and a half years. Tom Brady isn’t sending a text like that to guys who played in Boston for only two and a half years — unless they did something very special. So maybe, I don’t know … maybe that’s something to be proud of. And maybe, my time here … even if, in the end, I guess it wasn’t quite what I’d dreamed it would be — maybe it still meant something to some people.
It’s fascinating to see just how important Thomas’ legacy was to him in Boston, and how important the idea that he made a lasting impact even if his tenure was cut short was. Thomas is right - Brady definitely isn’t reaching out to just anybody, and Thomas’ performance clearly struck a chord all season with fans before culminating in a momentous display of support when Thomas played just one day after his sister Chyna died in a tragic car crash.
Thomas didn’t get his picture perfect ending in Boston, but he certainly mattered to that fanbase. And given that this is something that clearly matters to him, I think it’s fair to say that he can rest easy.