He fell in love with Boston.
For former Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas, the name on the front of his jersey meant so much more than the one on the back. The city, the people, the culture, it became something real to him -- it became home.
And now, for the first time in years, his home lies elsewhere. After being traded from the Celtics to the Cavaliers in a swap for Kyrie Irving, the 5" point guard finds himself looking back on the hurt. For him, it wasn't about egos or arrogance. It was about having to break-up with the city he had fell in love with, as he explains in The Players Tribunes "The Book of Isaiah: Chapter 4."
The piece really demonstrates how much Thomas's connection to the city impacted his life both on and off the court, and how those experiences have motivated him to give back to the community.
The I.T. era in Boston was a short-lived one, for sure. But, in the end, there wasn't anything he didn't give for that team. He demanded excellence from the organization, his teammates, and himself. And with those expectations, and the means to meet them, he helped jumpstart a storied franchise from the bowels of mediocrity... even if he won't be there to see it through.