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Cavs news: Isaiah Thomas speaks out on Celtics’ fans support after he lost his sister

Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas faced one of the toughest times of his NBA career last season, when he was informed of the death of his sister Chyna in a one-person car accident in his native Washington.

The call came barely 24 hours prior to the start of his first-round postseason game against the Chicago Bulls, feeling numb to basketball due to the tragedy that had just taken place in his family.

The 5-foot-9 star point guard took on the court only a day after receiving the news, totaling 33 points, six rebounds, and six assists in a four-point loss to start the series.

“…The original reason I was going to play, was actually a little different from the reason I ended up playing,” Thomas wrote on The Players’ Tribune. “At first I thought I was going to play because, honestly, that’s just my mindset, when it comes to basketball. With basketball, I guess it’s just always been, like — no matter what I’d be going through in life … I’ve always known I can go to a basketball court. All I have to do is find one, and I’ll know I’m going to be fine for however long I’m on that court. Because that’s what basketball has always been for me, through my life’s ups and downs. It shields me from everything that I’m going through in life.”

Thomas would endure another loss before winning four straight games to knock out the Bulls out of playoff contention and move onto the next round, but one thing that could never be erased was the support from the home crowd to start Game 1.

“And when I arrived at the arena that night, after Chyna had passed — I was thinking, O.K., I just need that to happen,” wrote Thomas. “I need this court to be my shield tonight, I need this court to help me forget. But when I got out there? Man, it’s one of those things … I can’t even describe it. The applause that I got, I can still hear it.”

“People had these signs they made, and I can still see them: THIS IS FOR CHYNA. WE <3 ISAIAH. That sort of thing. Then they did a moment of silence, the whole arena, in Chyna’s honor. And it was like… man. I just realized, in that moment, that I didn’t need the court to shield me. I didn’t need to block it all out, and pretend I wasn’t grieving. I didn’t have to be alone in this. The whole arena was right there with me. Honestly, it felt like the whole city of Boston was with me.”

Thomas said his goodbye to the city of Boston with this self-written piece, and now embarks into another adventure with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a task that will shape the next step of his NBA career after his recovery from a hip injury.

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