Were issues within the Boston Celtics’ locker room part of the reason Isaiah Thomas was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers?
So it begins. Sometimes when a player is unexpectedly traded, the rumor mill can start churning out quotes from unnamed executives our anonymous sources “close to the situation.” It’s a normal part of the business side of sports, and it always helps the interest of some that the business side be seen as justifiable.
The Celtics-Cavaliers trade seems to be just that. According to reports from Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard, Isaiah Thomas — the focal point of the trade between Eastern Conference rivals — was not as well-liked in the locker room as he was in the arena.
Broussard’s texts with NBA executives revealed issues with Thomas fell in line with the themes of his tenure in Sacramento and Phoenix, teams he played for before becoming a Celtic. Broussard would go on to call Thomas “strongheaded” with a “big ego,” descriptors which could be attributed to the majority of professional athletes, whose insane drives and egos allow them to outperform their peers, especially if that athlete happens to only be listed at 5-foot-9 — or say an athlete would rather not play with the best player in the world so he can be the No. 1 option on a team.
These reports are so common that it shouldn’t stay in your mind for longer than a day or so. However, it does create an interesting wrinkle with Thomas’ new team: He’ll be second fiddle to LeBron James, who could aptly be described as strongheaded with a big ego, too. LeBron is without question the best player Thomas has ever played with.
One thing is for sure, this will just be more fuel for Thomas when the two teams clash on opening night Oct. 17. Don’t ever let anyone tell you the NBA isn’t great.