Q&A: Isaiah Thomas

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Monday, July 14, 2014 with No comments
Courtesy of Slam


SLAM: Do you think your draft slot has anything to do with it? Kyrie Irving was drafted the same year as you, you guys posted similar averages and he got that contract extension and you’re still waiting. Do you think it might be because you were the last pick in the draft?
IT: It’s not even that. It’s because I’m 5-9. If I was 6-foot, I would be signing for $90 million contract, just like him. Not to put anything on him, he’s a great player and he’s earned that. But at the same time, I know the politics of the game and I know what I’ve been through to this point. I’m 5-foot-9 and that’s why I was the 60th pick. That’s why the Kings keep bringing new guys in. That’s the reason why. And I understand and you can’t put it past that. If I was 6-foot, I would be a max player. I think a lot of people feel that way, too.
SLAM: Moving onto the Reebok Camp, you said you came to this camp three times. How much of an impact was that on your career?
IT: It was big. My first year coming, that’s when OJ Mayo was the No. 1 player in the country, Greg Oden was there, Kevin Love. All the top guys that you see in the NBA right now, they were there. It helped so much, just to compare my game to those type of guys and to just compete on the level that they’re at. It’s the same thing in the NBA, it feels like camp every time you play in the NBA because those are the players you’ve seen growing up or played against growing up. This opportunity doesn’t go to everybody, I tell kids all the time. When the opportunity comes, take advantage of it, because you might not get it again.
SLAM: You graduated high school in 2007, when social media was kind of just getting started. How much has it changed for the players now, they can tweet at each other, add each other on Facebook. How much has that changed from when you were in high school.
IT: Man, it’s changed a lot. I imagine me having Twitter in high school. It gets you more exposure, somebody sees you, they tweet you, retweet it, everybody sees that, little things like that. The social media is definitely helpful for the young generation.
SLAM: Do you think they know their competition better than you knew yours back in high school?
IT: Oh, no doubt. You know who this guy is, what city he’s from, what high school he goes to, what rank he is, what schools he’s considering, you know all that.
SLAM: How closely do you follow the high school basketball season back home?
IT: I always follow the top high school guys, they usually play open gym with the pros out there. Isiah Brown is here, he’s from Seattle, he’s a pretty good player. Dejounte Murray, he’s an up-and-coming player at the LeBron James Skills Academy. We’ve got a few guys that are very talented and they’re going to be the next guys to make it out of the Northwest.
SLAM: How do feel about there not being an NBA team in Seattle still?
IT: It sucks. It’s crazy because you can ask anybody that’s been in the NBA, they always say, “Man, we miss that Seattle trip.” So hopefully, sometime soon in the next year or two Seattle gets a team back because that city needs it. They’re one of the greatest fans in the world. I remember going to games watching Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton and watching Kevin Durant when he played there for a single season. We need a team, we need one badly and I think we’ll have one.