Isaiah Thomas Receives Standing Ovation During Return To Boston

Cavs forward Le Bron James defended by Celtics forward Jaylen Brown

"Hopefully the Boston Celtics will do that for me. I just wanted my family to be here to see it", Thomas said Wednesday (via the AP), after he watched his Cleveland Cavaliers lose in Boston, 102-88. That's what it came down to. I wanted to be able to play. And when my representatives reached out to these guys, [the Celtics] were all for it. The Cavaliers will return to Boston on February 11, but the Celtics are already planning to retire Paul Pierce's jersey on that night.

There's no doubt that Pierce is a much greater figure in the storied history of the Celtics than Thomas, although the latter became a fan favorite in Boston to a degree that belied his relatively short tenure there of two-plus seasons. "But on February 11, the night I get my jersey retired, I'm not sure I want to look up at the jumbotron and see Isaiah highlights, after all the years I've been there".

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The Celtics had planned on showing a tribute video in honor of Thomas' service, but he asked the team to postpone it until a later date - preferably one in which he could play with his family in attendance, as he has said.

Pierce - who played for the Celtics for 15 seasons - offered that the team could run an Instagram video instead.

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Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue told reporters he plans on starting the two-time All-Star on Saturday against the Orlando Magic.

But in an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher and Rich (as reported by CBS Boston), Celtics president Danny Ainge assures that the 90-second video tribute for Thomas won't take away from Pierce's big night. So, I mean, I know people. But if they choose to do it that night, that would be great and I would be honored.

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Paul Pierce, then with the Clippers, squared off with Isaiah Thomas, then with the Celtics, in a 2016 game. "He's been here 15 years, there's nothing I can take from him". Judging from Paul Pierce's latest tweet, The Truth may end up setting someone on fire (metaphorically) in fewer than 280 characters.

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