Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics has taken the league by storm this season. The once shunned Pacific Division castoff, who wanted to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers back in 2014, has gone from journeyman role player to an All-Star and arguably one of the best guards in the NBA.
After torching the Lakers for 38 points, 17 of which came in the fourth quarter on Friday night, the 27-year-old was asked if he’s filling the shoes of Kobe Bryant as the lone star in the storied rivalry between the two teams. Thomas, who has praised the Lakers legend on more than one occasion over the years, said the following, via ESPN’s Chris Forsberg:
“You can’t put my name with Kobe,” Thomas said. “Maybe 15 years from now, hopefully. But I’m not close to him.”
Thomas helped lead the Celtics over the Lakers on Friday. Boston came out victorious on their home floor at TD Garden and continues to make a strong case as a possible threat the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.
The Lakers, however, dropped to 17-36 on the season and at this point simply hope to rebuild as quickly as the Celtics have been able to with a legitimate star leading the way. Although D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram have shown flashes of a potentially bright future, Los Angeles still has a long way to go before being in the same category as their archrivals.
Russell and company will have an opportunity to avenge their loss against Boston when Thomas’ Celtics come to Los Angeles on March 3. Until then, the Lakers will continue their road trip with the team set to get back to work on Monday against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.