A couple weeks ago, Kobe Bryant issued one of his ongoing series of challenges to Isaiah Thomas, giving the diminutive guard the goal of making the First-Team All-NBA next season.
It took a while, but the new Cleveland Cavaliers point guard officially accepted the Black Mamba’s challenge.
Thomas made the All-NBA Second team last season, as he averaged a career-high 28.9 points, 5.9 assists, and 2.7 rebounds on 46.3 percent shooting for the Boston Celtics.
Apart from Kobe’s challenge, Thomas’ other major incentive to make the All-NBA First Team is the fact that he is in a contract year. Having a season worthy of All-NBA First Team consideration would be a big boost to his goal of landing a massive contract next offseason.
However, health will be a major factor in Thomas’ chances of fulfilling Bryant’s challenge. Thomas is already expected to miss the start of the season due to his hip injury.
If Thomas misses significant time, like the 3-4 months he could miss if he eventually has to undergo surgery for his injured hip, the hopes of him potentially joining new Cavs teammate and perennial All-NBA First-Teamer LeBron James on next year’s team would take a massive blow.