Among the best of sports superstars, Isaiah Thomas has made a name for himself in one of the world’s most competitive leagues – The National Basketball Association (NBA). His journey as a basketball player started while he was in Curtis Senior High School in University Place, Washington State, where he played for the varsity basketball team before moving on to the University of Washington in 2008.
As a professional player, Isaiah has played for several top teams in the NBA like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Boston Celtics since he was picked by the Sacramento Kings in the 2011 NBA Draft. He has received a number of awards and recognitions, including being selected to the NBA All-Star twice, All-NBA Second Team in 2017, and NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2012 among others.
The American point guard is one of the best players in the league presently and there is so much to learn about him, all of which you can find in this piece.
Isaiah Thomas Pre-NBA Background
Born on the 7th of February 1989, Isaiah Jamar Thomas began playing basketball for Curtis Senior High School and then South Kent School in Connecticut after his family relocated. Despite his academic challenges, Thomas was an outstanding high school basketball player and he eventually secured a basketball scholarship to the University of Washington where he played college basketball for three years.
While he was in college, he played a total of 105 games, starting 104 and averaged 16.4 points per game before he declared for the NBA Draft. His college jersey number, 2 was retired by the University in honour of his exploits while he was there. Following his decision to play in the NBA, he decided to forgo his senior year as a college player and was subsequently drafted by the Sacramento Kings as the 60th overall player in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Details Of His NBA Career, Starting Off With The Sacramento Kings
In his first season, Isaiah impressed as a rookie and was named the Western Conference NBA Rookie of the Month for the month of February 2012 for recording an average of 12.2 points and 4.4 assists in each of the contest games played that month. With this, he became the first player to win the honours after being selected last during the NBA Draft. He went on to win the Rookie of the Month honours in April and was later named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in addition to being voted into the 7th position on the list of NBA Rookie of the Year.
In the following seasons, Isaiah Thomas continued to outdo himself on the field, recording the very first triple-double of his career with 24 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds in a game which ended in his team’s favour against the Washington Wizards. This set him apart as the shortest NBA player to ever record a triple-double in the league’s history. Meanwhile, during the 2013–14 season, Isaiah joined the list of the only five players below the height of 6 feet to ever make an average of 20 points for each game and 6 assists for every game in a season.
While he played for the Sacramento Kings, Thomas was one of the team’s best and most popular players, not just because of his on-field performances but also because he showed solidarity by appearing regularly at City Council meetings when the King’s was under threat of relocation.
Phoenix Suns One-Year Stint
His love story with his first NBA team came to an end when he joined the Phoenix Suns on July 12, 2014. Thomas eventually debuted for the Suns in their season-opening game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
He went on to play in the Sun’s next game but missed the following eight games due to an injury. However, he later returned to the field in December to take part in a game his team lost to the Detroit Pistons. Thomas became the shortest contestant to ever take part in the NBA Skills Challenge following the announcement that he would participate in the event on the 5th of February.
Next Stop At Boston Celtics
Moving on, Isaiah Thomas joined the Boston Celtics on the 19th of February 2015 after he was traded to the team and debuted for them three days later. He played in a number of games from February 23 to March 1, earning the Eastern Conference Player of the Week recognition for his performance.
Unfortunately, he was unable to feature in Celtics games for the rest of March as a result of an injury. He later returned to the field in April and continued his stellar performance which resulted in his being named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for his performance in games played from April 6 through April 12. He was also voted into the second spot in the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.
During the 2015/2016 season, Isaiah Thomas was named among the reserve players of the Eastern Conference All-Star for the 2016 edition of the NBA All-Star Game. His outstanding performance within the first week of February 2016 also landed him the Eastern Conference Player of the Week honours. He continued to give his best on the court in the following seasons, helping lead the Celtics to a number of victories while setting several records. He contributed to his team’s advancement in the Eastern Conference games in 2017, scoring points that pushed them from the semifinals to finals for the first time since 2012. Sadly, a was only able to play two games in the finals before he got injured and as a result, stepped aside
His Brief Stint With The Cleveland Cavaliers And Other Teams He Played For
The point guard’s journey with the Boston Celtics came to an end after he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in August 2017 but was kept from playing until January 2, 2018, after it was discovered that he had issues with his hips. He played two more games for the team in January after his debut game before he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in February 2018. Regrettably, his stay with the Lakers was short-lived as it ended the following month.
About four months later, he signed a one-year deal worth $2 million with the Denver Nuggets, and following the expiration of the contract, he moved over to the Washington Wizards on July 10, 2019. In February of the following year, however, he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers but got waived after two days.
Injury Stats Of Isiah Thomas Thus Far
Isiah Thomas is one basketball player whose professional career has been marred by a series of injuries. During his final season with the Sacramento Kings, he sustained an injury on his left wrist which led to him undergoing an arthroscopic surgical procedure a month after he joined the Phoenix Suns. Sadly, he played just one more game on October 31, 2014, after debuting on the team before an ankle injury subsequently forced him to miss eight games until December 12.
Joining the Boston Celtics, the NBA player also had a record of injuries which caused him to miss some games. After he played his first game on the team on the 22nd of February 2015, Thomas went on to play consecutively for the next seven days. However, he missed the rest of the games in March due to a bruise he sustained in his lower back. During the 2015/2016 season, he also had a hip injury which made it impossible for him to play in the Eastern Conference finals beyond the first two games.
Isaiah Thomas became a part of the Cleveland Cavaliers on the 22nd of August 2017. However, while the staff of Cleveland Cavaliers was conducting the usual post-trade physical examination on him, questions about the condition of his hip, which he previously injured, were raised. Later reports also revealed that even though Thomas has been playing for several seasons, he has been doing so with some secondary hip issues, including cartilage loss and arthritis.
The Cavaliers later traded the point guard to the Los Angeles Lakers in February 2018. He played only two games with the Lakers before going under the knife for an arthroscopic surgery to his right hip. As a result, he was ruled out for the remaining part of the season on March 29.
Information About His Family
Despite the instability in his career, Thomas’s family has always been his rock. Born to James Thomas and Tina Baldtrip in Tacoma, Washington, he was named after Isiah Thomas, former Detroit Pistons guard and Hall of Famer following a bet his father made with his friend. The point guard grew up as one of two children raised by his loving parents but sadly, his family was thrown into mourning due to the death of his only sister/sibling, Chyna, who died in a car accident in Washington on the 15th of April, 2017.
Surrounded with love from both his parents and immediate family, Thomas has been able to leverage on his accomplishments thus far to build a happy home with his wife and long-time girlfriend, Kayla Wallace.
Married Life With Kayla Wallace
Kayla, daughter of a US army veteran named Theodore William Wallace and Deborah Anna Wallace, was born on the 26th of November 1987. She is a 2013 graduate of Central Washington University from where she bagged a degree in Education, becoming a school teacher afterwards.
Digging into her relationship history, we discovered that she has come a long way with Isaiah Thomas. The duo began dating while they were in high school and remained together even after their graduation. After many years of keeping their love alive, Isaiah Thomas and Kayla Wallace got engaged in 2014 and eventually got married on the 20th of August, 2016, at Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle. The star-studded event had many NBA stars in attendance, as well as other athletes such as Floyd Mayweather.
The basketball player always seizes every opportunity he gets to write sweet things about his wife. He once posted pictures of their wedding on his Instagram account, declaring how lucky he was to be married to an amazing woman like Kayla. It’s been more than three years since the couple got married but they appear to still be as in love as ever. They are always seen looking happy in each other’s company while attending public events and they never get fed up with posting each other’s photos on social media.
The couple had a son named Jaiden before they tied the knot and additionally, Isaiah also fathered a son, James, with his former girlfriend. Both boys were present at Isaiah and Kayla’s wedding and appear in many of their pictures. In July 2018, Thomas and his wife announced that they were about to have a new addition in their family, a baby daughter. The little girl later arrived on the 10th of October 2018 and an excited Thomas could not help but share the news with his fans via Instagram.