LeBron James: Burning of Isaiah Thomas’ jersey is ‘ridiculous’
LeBron James has had enough of fans burning jerseys.
The NBA star took to Twitter on Thursday, voicing his displeasure with Boston Celtics fans who were burning point guard Isaiah Thomas’ No. 4 jersey. The Celtics traded Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for point guard Kyrie Irving on Tuesday.
“The burning of the jersey thing is getting ridiculous now!” James said at the start of a five-tweet rant. “The man was traded. What do u not understand?”
James then noted that Thomas played in a playoff game for the Celtics one day after the death of his sister, Chyna Thomas, 22, who was killed in a single-car crash in Washington State in late April.
James also mentioned Gordon Hayward, who opted to sign with the Celtics as a free agent after playing seven seasons for the Utah Jazz. When Hayward announced his decision to leave Utah, Jazz fans burned his jersey.
“Gordon Hayward paid (his) dues as well and decided to do what’s best for him and family,” James said.
He later continued his rant: “If these guys weren’t good, u guys would be the first to say ‘get them up out of here.’ Man beat it! When ‘we’ decide to do what best for us it’s ‘cowardly’ ‘traitor,’ etc but when it’s on the other side it’s ‘business’ huh!?!?”
James knows a little about fickle fans. In Cleveland, fans famously burned his Cavs jersey in 2010 after the then-free agent announced he was leaving for the Miami Heat. Four years later, they embraced him when he returned to the Cavaliers.
The day of the Irving-Thomas trade, James retweeted a video from a fan showing Irving’s Cavaliers jersey alongside a homemade sign reading, “Thank U so much.” In his retweet, James said, “That’s the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together.”
Even though Thomas is one of the shortest players in the NBA — he’s listed at 5 feet, 9 inches — he regularly comes up big. It started almost immediately with his namesake.
Thomas was named after NBA legend Isiah Thomas when his father, James, lost a friendly wager on a Lakers-Pistons playoff game in 1989. He had the famous name, but because of his height, Thomas had to prove to the league that he belonged. He played three years for the University of Washington and was selected by the Sacramento Kings as the 60th and final pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
The Kings traded Thomas to the Phoenix Suns in 2014, and then he was sent to Boston as part of a trade in 2015. He thrived with the Celtics, leading the team in scoring, and became a two-time All-Star.