LeBron James raves about Isaiah Thomas after long-awaited debut
LeBron James spoke glowingly of Isaiah Thomas after the point guard made his long-awaited debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers in Tuesday night’s 127-110 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
The point guard scored 17 points on a 6-of-12 shooting night while playing only 19 minutes. And Cavaliers fans welcomed Thomas with a raucous ovation when he first entered the game late in the first quarter in an electric scene inside Quicken Loans Arena.
He's back!@isaiahthomas finally takes the floor as a member of the @cavs! #WelcomeBackIT pic.twitter.com/1GseoWkaM4
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 3, 2018
James — who never masked his anticipation of getting on the floor with his new teammate — was among several Cavaliers players who raved over seeing Thomas finally get on the court following an offseason trade and seven-month layoff due to assorted hip injuries.
“It’s just how we’ve been since he got here,” James said, via Cleveland.com. “Even with him not being able to play. I think he told you guys yesterday, just IT be you man. Be you. You ain’t gotta try to fit in. Just be you. Go out on the floor. You got a look, we want you to take those looks. Two on the ball, find somebody, just be you. Let game speak for itself.
“Obviously I think he did better than everybody expected, probably not himself, because we all know how confident he is, but he did better than a lot of us expected.”
Dwyane Wade, who was as excited as anyone on the Cavs over Thomas’ debut, said the point guard is “incredible” and “feisty.”
James closed out his comments on the eagerly anticipated arrival by Thomas by noting what separates him from other players.
“What I like most about him is he has a chip on his shoulder for life,” James said. “That’s just who he is. When a guy’s got a chip on his shoulder for life he ain’t going to, he’s never going to not work hard.”