All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas was faced with the gut-wrenching decision of whether or not to play in the Boston Celtics first postseason game on Sunday afternoon, after his 22-year-old sister, Chyna Thomas, was killed in a auto accident the night prior.
Despite Thomas scoring a team-high 33 points in Game 1 against the Bulls, Chicago came away with a 106-102 victory on the road.
Before the Boston Celtics opened their postseason matchup with the Chicago Bulls, the team held a moment of silence for Chyna Thomas-the sister of All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas-who passed away in a vehicle crash the day before.
There was a moment of silence after the grieving Thomas led his teammates onto the floor and just before the playing of the USA national anthem.
"He was incredible. He's an awesome player and an fantastic person", Boston coach Brad Stevens said. The coach adds that all plans are subject to change depending on how Thomas feels.
The Seahawks community rallied to support Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas after news broke his sister, Chyna, was killed in a auto accident Saturday near Federal Way.
"It's a hard time for Isaiah and his family and for us, as well, " Celtics big man Al Horford said. "We knew their stuff, just like they knew ours, but we executed extremely well".
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"He's the reason we are where we are", Zeller said. "I felt like our guys really dealt with it the right way".
Bradley echoed those statements after the game, saying that Thomas' emotion weighed heavy over the entire team.
The playoffs are a different animal, we realized that Sunday night as the 41-41 Bulls manhandled the 53-29 Celtics most of the night. He looked toward the rafters just before the tip-off. "I don't understand what he's going through at all; just understand that all of our hearts do go out to him and his family". It's easier to understand Barkley's thinking if you think of Thomas's deep emotional injury like it's a physical injury: anyone who cares about Thomas wouldn't want him on the court if playing would hurt him more than help him.
Visible were "Chyna", "RIP Lil Sis" and "I love you".
An hour before tipoff, Isaiah Thomas was seen crying on the team's bench during the pre-game shootaround, consoled by Celtics guard Avery Bradley. Stevens said decisions on the player's availability are Thomas' alone. "I think he's as good as he can be".
"We just need to continue to fight for him - Isaiah to me is like family".