Isaiah Thomas was and is beloved by fans in Sacramento. With good reason — he was the ultimate underdog, a guy we can all relate to. He was the last guy taken in the draft (60th pick, last in the second round) and is 5’9” in a league full of guys who won the genetic lottery. He played hard and fast every time on the court. He was the guy you saw on ads during timeouts in Kings games pitching Pizza Guy. And he got buckets — he averaged 20.7 points a game last season. Every time the Kings brought in a guy to take over the starting point guard spot he just beat them out.
But Thomas was never a management favorite in Sacramento.
The Kings went out this summer and brought in Daren Collison and Thomas told Sactown Royalty he felt disrespected when that happened and he knew his stay in California’s capital was over.
“When they did that, I knew I wasn’t coming back. Going into my fourth year, I felt like I kind of proved myself to be a starter, especially on the Sacramento Kings…
“So when I say I felt disrespected, I just felt like the way I played the game of basketball wasn’t appreciated. So they always say you don’t know what you got until it’s gone, and I feel like that’s going to happen.”
Thomas makes it clear that coach Mike Malone was great and was a big supporter of his, but it was up the ladder of management that there was no love. That matches the buzz I heard, that this was really out of GM Pete D’Alessandro’s office, but he denies that.
Whatever is the case, Thomas said he loved Sacramento but he’s going to make them pay for letting him go.
I tell everybody I love Sacramento, I always will love Sacramento, but when we play them I’m going to kill Sacramento.
Darren Collison can’t guard Thomas. And whenever Thomas has put his mind to something in the NBA, he’s done it.
Now his mind is set on destroying the Kings when they play. Mark that on your calendar.