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Since I Thomas was moved to 6th man Lakers are 7-2
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Bonn1997
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3/18/2018  8:07 AM    LAST EDITED: 3/18/2018  8:09 AM
nyk4ever wrote:
BRIGGS wrote:
nyk4ever wrote:sorry briggs, your terrible idea looks even worse now...

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2018/03/15/resilient-lakers-isaiah-thomas-not-no-sixth-man/427514002/

LOS ANGELES – Isaiah Thomas was a happy man on Monday.

His Lakers were just hours removed from downing the Cleveland Cavaliers in a game he swears didn’t qualify as revenge. The win was even sweeter because Thomas’ family was in town, as his wife, Kayla, and their two sons, Jaiden and James, made their weekly trip from Seattle to join the joyous Staples Center crowd that reveled in all of LeBron James’ frustration.

But amid these brutal past 10 months – from Boston Celtics MVP candidate to grieving brother to Cavs fall guy to Lakers sixth man, with the hip injury, a seven-month recovery, the two jarring trades – the root of Thomas’ joy had nothing to do with hoops.

This was a victory lap of a very different kind, proud papa style.

Thomas, whose 22-year-old sister Chyna died in a single-car accident at the start of Boston's postseason run last April, was eager to head North from the UCLA Health Training Center where the Lakers practice had just ended. On the corner of South La Cienega and Pico Blvd, some 10 miles away, his boys and their famous friends stand taller than all the rest.

That’s the location of a recent Sean John billboard with Jaiden and James featured alongside the sons of Houston Rocket Chris Paul and Oklahoma City's Carmelo Anthony.

“That (photoshoot) was a couple months ago, and it's a nationwide thing, so they have billboards up in Times Square, Houston, OKC, LA,” said Thomas. “I just drove by there, and it was a dope moment to see my boys on a billboard.”

One of these days – doubters be darned – Thomas plans to be a headliner again, too.

“I'm not no sixth man,” he declared in an interview with USA TODAY Sports this week. “And I won't be a sixth man (in the future). I just want everybody to know that, like clear as can be. I'm a two-time All-Star and a starter who has done things that a lot of people in this league haven't done (when) given that opportunity.

“But I got traded into a situation I can't control. There's nothing bad against (Lakers coach) Luke Walton. There's nothing bad against the Los Angeles Lakers. I'm taking advantage of the opportunity they've given me, and then (we’ll) end the season off strong."

Thomas has done that of late, averaging 18.4 points and 5.8 assists since Feb. 23 while helping the Lakers win eight of their past 11 games. He made his first start on Wednesday, but only because rookie forward Kyle Kuzma was injured.

“I'm here to help,” Thomas said. “I'm here to continue to get better, and I'm still – (expletive), I can reach levels that I know I haven't reached yet, and I'm here to help along the way in whatever they need me to do, and I'm going to be a professional."

When Thomas sat down in a Dallas steakhouse with Lakers coach Luke Walton and associate head coach Brian Shaw on Feb. 9, it was the unofficial beginning of one of the NBA’s most complicated partnerships. The context of Thomas’ arrival made matters even more awkward: By sending Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to Cleveland in exchange for Thomas, Channing Frye and a 2018 first-round pick, the Lakers had finally created the two maximum-salary slots that they hope go to James and Oklahoma City's Paul George. Yet in this candid conversation between the new co-workers, the future didn’t matter nearly as much as the present.

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton yells to
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton yells to guard Isaiah Thomas (3) in the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. (Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

It didn’t help that Thomas and Walton had never met.

The 5-foot-9 Thomas was a fallen star, the free-agent-to-be who had yet to recover the speed and strength that once made him the best pound-for-pound player around.

Walton’s rebuilding Lakers, meanwhile, had a sensitive situation of their own. Twelve wins in 16 tries heading into Dallas meant this was no time to change the starting lineup – especially when the point guard was prized rookie Lonzo Ball.

Thomas, who recoiled at a sixth man role when he was with Phoenix and whose agent, Aaron Goodwin, had made his client’s desires to start quite clear in the hours after the trade from Cleveland, would be coming off the bench again.

“Could he start?” Walton said of Thomas. “One hundred percent. Does he deserve to start? Yeah, with what he's done in his career. Absolutely. (But) we're in a unique situation here. We have a young team. ... I kind of just challenged (Thomas), that even though he fully wants to start, I said, 'Look, you've been out a long time, (and) to me there's only, however much, two months left in the season at the time - find the joy. Go find the (joy).

“What you love doing is playing basketball, and whether or not I'm starting you or not, that decision (is) out of your hands."


The three men sat there for more than two hours. Shaw, who once famously kept Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant from having a parking lot brawl before Lakers practice back in 2003, played the role of peacemaker but in far less dramatic fashion. Walton, who believes honesty and directness with players ensures a genuine connection, made sure Thomas was heard.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to the final course: They respectfully disagreed, and decided to make the best of an imperfect situation.

“I told Luke when we sat down and talked (that), 'Yeah, obviously I want to be a starter, (and) obviously I feel like I deserve and earned the right to be a starter on any team in the NBA,” Thomas said. “But I'm not going to cause problems just because you say, 'Well right now I'm not starting.' It is what it is. I can't control it."

“(Thomas) never acted (like he wanted a buyout) – the guy has been amazing,” Walton said. “Like every day in practice, he's in here, he's (got a) smile on his face, (he’s) talking to teammates, so most of the credit goes to him and the type of person he is, honestly. ... He's been a tremendous help for our guys, a complete professional, talks in the film room, talks on the court in practice, talks on the court during the game, and not just to try to look good, like he's really telling people what they need to hear.”

The playoff goal appears to be out of reach. The Lakers are seven games back of eighth-place Utah in the loss column with 14 to go. But little by little, win by win, Thomas and the Lakers are earning the kind of respect that has been in short supply these past few torturous seasons.

The irony, of course, is that the players doing the most damage – Julius Randle, Brook Lopez, Thomas, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – have no contracts beyond this season and no reason to believe they’re part of the Lakers’ future. But theirs is a shared mission, a chance to play the game with a free spirit as free agency nears.

And Thomas, who has learned time and again that he can only control so much, will keep searching for the hoops happiness that has been so tough to come by of late.

“At the end of the day, when free agency comes, I'm going to go where I'm wanted, and wanted the most, and wanted to be Isaiah Thomas,” he said. “And I've got to make the best decision for me and my family, and that's all that I'm going to be worried about when that time comes."

“I'm feeling good, man. Every day, every game, I'm getting better and better. I'm moving better. My body's feeling better. It's just - it's going to take time to get back to that level, but also - which I tell people – my opportunity is not the same as it was when I was in Boston. Even when I was in Cleveland, it wasn't the same as it was in Boston, so you can't expect me to go out and average 30 points when I'm not given that same opportunity. If that opportunity comes back, and when it does - because I know it will - I promise you: I'll be more than ready to take advantage of that opportunity, and be back on top.”

Follow USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick on Twitter.

and not only that, he's a diva too.

95% of the NBA are divas

We have no PG and you think we lose last night with IT? If anything Id promise him the starter spot and offer him less. Give him 1 year 12mm with a guarantee he starts.

so we went from offering him 3yr/45mm to 1yr/12mm. next he'll be playing for free? if we can get him for free, ill gladly take him.


LOL. IT will pay us to play here!
This has been a terribly run organization for almost 20 years. I'm guessing that he won't even sit down to talk with us unless we outbid everyone by a HUGE margin.
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GustavBahler
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3/18/2018  10:48 AM
Bonn1997 wrote:
nyk4ever wrote:
BRIGGS wrote:
nyk4ever wrote:sorry briggs, your terrible idea looks even worse now...

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2018/03/15/resilient-lakers-isaiah-thomas-not-no-sixth-man/427514002/

LOS ANGELES – Isaiah Thomas was a happy man on Monday.

His Lakers were just hours removed from downing the Cleveland Cavaliers in a game he swears didn’t qualify as revenge. The win was even sweeter because Thomas’ family was in town, as his wife, Kayla, and their two sons, Jaiden and James, made their weekly trip from Seattle to join the joyous Staples Center crowd that reveled in all of LeBron James’ frustration.

But amid these brutal past 10 months – from Boston Celtics MVP candidate to grieving brother to Cavs fall guy to Lakers sixth man, with the hip injury, a seven-month recovery, the two jarring trades – the root of Thomas’ joy had nothing to do with hoops.

This was a victory lap of a very different kind, proud papa style.

Thomas, whose 22-year-old sister Chyna died in a single-car accident at the start of Boston's postseason run last April, was eager to head North from the UCLA Health Training Center where the Lakers practice had just ended. On the corner of South La Cienega and Pico Blvd, some 10 miles away, his boys and their famous friends stand taller than all the rest.

That’s the location of a recent Sean John billboard with Jaiden and James featured alongside the sons of Houston Rocket Chris Paul and Oklahoma City's Carmelo Anthony.

“That (photoshoot) was a couple months ago, and it's a nationwide thing, so they have billboards up in Times Square, Houston, OKC, LA,” said Thomas. “I just drove by there, and it was a dope moment to see my boys on a billboard.”

One of these days – doubters be darned – Thomas plans to be a headliner again, too.

“I'm not no sixth man,” he declared in an interview with USA TODAY Sports this week. “And I won't be a sixth man (in the future). I just want everybody to know that, like clear as can be. I'm a two-time All-Star and a starter who has done things that a lot of people in this league haven't done (when) given that opportunity.

“But I got traded into a situation I can't control. There's nothing bad against (Lakers coach) Luke Walton. There's nothing bad against the Los Angeles Lakers. I'm taking advantage of the opportunity they've given me, and then (we’ll) end the season off strong."

Thomas has done that of late, averaging 18.4 points and 5.8 assists since Feb. 23 while helping the Lakers win eight of their past 11 games. He made his first start on Wednesday, but only because rookie forward Kyle Kuzma was injured.

“I'm here to help,” Thomas said. “I'm here to continue to get better, and I'm still – (expletive), I can reach levels that I know I haven't reached yet, and I'm here to help along the way in whatever they need me to do, and I'm going to be a professional."

When Thomas sat down in a Dallas steakhouse with Lakers coach Luke Walton and associate head coach Brian Shaw on Feb. 9, it was the unofficial beginning of one of the NBA’s most complicated partnerships. The context of Thomas’ arrival made matters even more awkward: By sending Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to Cleveland in exchange for Thomas, Channing Frye and a 2018 first-round pick, the Lakers had finally created the two maximum-salary slots that they hope go to James and Oklahoma City's Paul George. Yet in this candid conversation between the new co-workers, the future didn’t matter nearly as much as the present.

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton yells to
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton yells to guard Isaiah Thomas (3) in the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. (Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

It didn’t help that Thomas and Walton had never met.

The 5-foot-9 Thomas was a fallen star, the free-agent-to-be who had yet to recover the speed and strength that once made him the best pound-for-pound player around.

Walton’s rebuilding Lakers, meanwhile, had a sensitive situation of their own. Twelve wins in 16 tries heading into Dallas meant this was no time to change the starting lineup – especially when the point guard was prized rookie Lonzo Ball.

Thomas, who recoiled at a sixth man role when he was with Phoenix and whose agent, Aaron Goodwin, had made his client’s desires to start quite clear in the hours after the trade from Cleveland, would be coming off the bench again.

“Could he start?” Walton said of Thomas. “One hundred percent. Does he deserve to start? Yeah, with what he's done in his career. Absolutely. (But) we're in a unique situation here. We have a young team. ... I kind of just challenged (Thomas), that even though he fully wants to start, I said, 'Look, you've been out a long time, (and) to me there's only, however much, two months left in the season at the time - find the joy. Go find the (joy).

“What you love doing is playing basketball, and whether or not I'm starting you or not, that decision (is) out of your hands."


The three men sat there for more than two hours. Shaw, who once famously kept Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant from having a parking lot brawl before Lakers practice back in 2003, played the role of peacemaker but in far less dramatic fashion. Walton, who believes honesty and directness with players ensures a genuine connection, made sure Thomas was heard.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to the final course: They respectfully disagreed, and decided to make the best of an imperfect situation.

“I told Luke when we sat down and talked (that), 'Yeah, obviously I want to be a starter, (and) obviously I feel like I deserve and earned the right to be a starter on any team in the NBA,” Thomas said. “But I'm not going to cause problems just because you say, 'Well right now I'm not starting.' It is what it is. I can't control it."

“(Thomas) never acted (like he wanted a buyout) – the guy has been amazing,” Walton said. “Like every day in practice, he's in here, he's (got a) smile on his face, (he’s) talking to teammates, so most of the credit goes to him and the type of person he is, honestly. ... He's been a tremendous help for our guys, a complete professional, talks in the film room, talks on the court in practice, talks on the court during the game, and not just to try to look good, like he's really telling people what they need to hear.”

The playoff goal appears to be out of reach. The Lakers are seven games back of eighth-place Utah in the loss column with 14 to go. But little by little, win by win, Thomas and the Lakers are earning the kind of respect that has been in short supply these past few torturous seasons.

The irony, of course, is that the players doing the most damage – Julius Randle, Brook Lopez, Thomas, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – have no contracts beyond this season and no reason to believe they’re part of the Lakers’ future. But theirs is a shared mission, a chance to play the game with a free spirit as free agency nears.

And Thomas, who has learned time and again that he can only control so much, will keep searching for the hoops happiness that has been so tough to come by of late.

“At the end of the day, when free agency comes, I'm going to go where I'm wanted, and wanted the most, and wanted to be Isaiah Thomas,” he said. “And I've got to make the best decision for me and my family, and that's all that I'm going to be worried about when that time comes."

“I'm feeling good, man. Every day, every game, I'm getting better and better. I'm moving better. My body's feeling better. It's just - it's going to take time to get back to that level, but also - which I tell people – my opportunity is not the same as it was when I was in Boston. Even when I was in Cleveland, it wasn't the same as it was in Boston, so you can't expect me to go out and average 30 points when I'm not given that same opportunity. If that opportunity comes back, and when it does - because I know it will - I promise you: I'll be more than ready to take advantage of that opportunity, and be back on top.”

Follow USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick on Twitter.

and not only that, he's a diva too.

95% of the NBA are divas

We have no PG and you think we lose last night with IT? If anything Id promise him the starter spot and offer him less. Give him 1 year 12mm with a guarantee he starts.

so we went from offering him 3yr/45mm to 1yr/12mm. next he'll be playing for free? if we can get him for free, ill gladly take him.


LOL. IT will pay us to play here!
This has been a terribly run organization for almost 20 years. I'm guessing that he won't even sit down to talk with us unless we outbid everyone by a HUGE margin.

Good. Burke will provide a lot less drama. Not good for the drama club.

Nalod
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3/20/2018  1:43 PM
You don't show a fool a job half done!
Bonn1997
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3/20/2018  3:04 PM
Looks like the Lakers are back to losing and IT is still bricking
Knixkik
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3/20/2018  3:20 PM
Bonn1997 wrote:Looks like the Lakers are back to losing and IT is still bricking

IT just isn't that good right now. Unlikely for him to make it back to 75% of where he was. He was in his prime, in the ideal system. Take him out of the system, with a significant injury, and he is likely a bench rotation player for a few years, then probably out of the league by 32-33. The league isn't kind to small guards. He is a streaky offensive player, and terrible defensive player. Not sure he is worth more than the mid level anymore.

Nalod
Posts: 56399
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3/20/2018  4:20 PM
Knixkik wrote:
Bonn1997 wrote:Looks like the Lakers are back to losing and IT is still bricking

IT just isn't that good right now. Unlikely for him to make it back to 75% of where he was. He was in his prime, in the ideal system. Take him out of the system, with a significant injury, and he is likely a bench rotation player for a few years, then probably out of the league by 32-33. The league isn't kind to small guards. He is a streaky offensive player, and terrible defensive player. Not sure he is worth more than the mid level anymore.



Them man worked his tail off and had that game going. Too bad it did not coincide with his contract ending.
I said it last year before he got hurt, and its true that the small great players just don't have that room for error when it comes to injury.
Its a fine line for the little guys. Lose a step, its really hard to over come the size differential.
Im sure Ainge and Celtic ownership cringed when he said "Back the brinks truck up" a few years ago when that star was rising and he was on top.
Really, I do feel the the guy and hope he gets a nice pay day. He just talks "elite" as he has something to prove.
I hope he does well. Just not a Knick please!
You don't show a fool a job half done!
nyk4ever
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3/21/2018  12:33 PM
Bonn1997 wrote:Looks like the Lakers are back to losing and IT is still bricking

Last 5 games: 25 for 72, 35% shooting.

lets give him 100million!

"OMG - did we just go on a two-trade-wining-streak?" -SupremeCommander
Bonn1997
Posts: 58647
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3/21/2018  12:58 PM
nyk4ever wrote:
Bonn1997 wrote:Looks like the Lakers are back to losing and IT is still bricking

Last 5 games: 25 for 72, 35% shooting.

lets give him 100million!


Well that is pretty close to his shooting % for the season.
Really, I'm just playfully knocking Briggs here. It's nothing against IT. I hope he does come back strong next year. I wouldn't gamble our payroll money on it though.
nyk4ever
Posts: 40994
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3/21/2018  1:47 PM
Bonn1997 wrote:
nyk4ever wrote:
Bonn1997 wrote:Looks like the Lakers are back to losing and IT is still bricking

Last 5 games: 25 for 72, 35% shooting.

lets give him 100million!


Well that is pretty close to his shooting % for the season.
Really, I'm just playfully knocking Briggs here. It's nothing against IT. I hope he does come back strong next year. I wouldn't gamble our payroll money on it though.

briggs is a great bball mind, there's no doubt about it. with that said, he doesn't hold his feelings back when others say things he doesn't agree with, especially myself, so when he says something stupid, i'm gonna damn well harp on it. you can guarantee it.

"OMG - did we just go on a two-trade-wining-streak?" -SupremeCommander
Nalod
Posts: 56399
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3/21/2018  1:51 PM
nyk4ever wrote:
Bonn1997 wrote:
nyk4ever wrote:
Bonn1997 wrote:Looks like the Lakers are back to losing and IT is still bricking

Last 5 games: 25 for 72, 35% shooting.

lets give him 100million!


Well that is pretty close to his shooting % for the season.
Really, I'm just playfully knocking Briggs here. It's nothing against IT. I hope he does come back strong next year. I wouldn't gamble our payroll money on it though.

briggs is a great bball mind, there's no doubt about it. with that said, he doesn't hold his feelings back when others say things he doesn't agree with, especially myself, so when he says something stupid, i'm gonna damn well harp on it. you can guarantee it.

Briggs has been very quiet of late. Is he tranced by all those march maddness games in 4 days and brain fried with all those potential draft ejaculations in such a short period of time?

You don't show a fool a job half done!
Since I Thomas was moved to 6th man Lakers are 7-2

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