Even while establishing himself with the Sacramento Kings, Isaiah Thomas never made secret of his affinity for the Los Angeles Lakers. Named after Detroit Pistons point guard Isiah Thomas, because his father lost a bet in the 1989 Finals, Isaiah is now living out his, and his family’s dream.
Upon being traded to the Lakers hours before the deadline, Thomas joined the team while they were in Dallas. Then it was off to New Orleans and Minnesota before reaching the All-Star break.
Friday presented the first opportunity for Thomas to play at Staples Center as a member of the Lakers. “It was nice to get an ovation and finally be on the home team in L.A. It was a nice feeling,” he said.
“I’ve always thought of having that feeling. I know my family back home was definitely happy about it. I’m just glad we got the win.”
Thomas played 25 minutes off the bench and despite missing his first few shots, went on to finish with 17 points. It was most among all bench players in the game, and he added two rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Thomas’ playing time overlapped with that of Lonzo Ball, who returned after missing 15 games with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Both point guards entered off the bench in the first quarter and helped spark the Lakers to taking a 22-point lead.
“We’re just two basketball players that know how to make plays. He’s a guy that loves to pass and advance the ball. I’m a guy that likes to make plays and score the ball,” Thomas said of sharing the court with Ball.
“I think that adjustment is going to be easy, just playing with another guy that likes to make plays. You figure out where you can take advantage and use your strengths at, and go from there.”
Ball echoed a similar sentiment, and Lakers head coach Luke Walton was pleased with what he saw from the backcourt mates.
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