When Isaiah Thomas was unable to play on Jan. 3 in Boston, he asked the Celtics to not play a video tribute in his honor. Now, when the Cavs return to Boston again on Feb. 11, Thomas is again asking the spotlight to be taken off of him.
In a series of tweets sent out on Tuesday, Thomas asked the Celtics to focus not on him, but on Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement scheduled for the same night. While he tweeted that he is looking forward to returning, he is again asking for Boston not to play a tribute video:
I'd like to thank the Celtics for their gracious offer to play a video tribute on Feb 11th celebrating my 3yrs in Boston. But since it appears this has caused some controversy w/ Paul Pierce's night I'd ask the Celtics instead to focus all of their attention on #34's career.— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 17, 2018
I look forward to coming back and playing in Boston on Feb 11th and see all of the great fans whom I will always remember for their love and incredible support the past few years.— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 17, 2018
Per ESPN, Pierce said the following on Jan. 4 while appearing on ESPN’s The Jump: “I’m not saying Isaiah shouldn’t get a tribute video ... but on Feb. 11, the night I get my jersey retired, I’m not sure I want to look up at the JumboTron and see Isaiah highlights.” The next day, per ESPN, he added the following on ESPN’s NBA Countdown show: “I just feel like this: You only get your jersey retired once. It’s a crowning achievement for me. Isaiah will be back in Boston again -- next year, the year after, he’s going to have a long career. But this one day should belong to Paul Pierce.”
Pelicans guard Tony Allen, an ex-teammate of Pierce’s in Boston, echoed those sentiments this week.
The Celtics have not yet responded to Thomas’ request.