NBA players aren't blind to the fact that the league is a business. If a team comes across a deal they can't refuse, any player can be moved.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas learned this the hard way when the Boston Celtics packaged him up for acquire Kyrie Irving during the offseason.
While the subsequent war of words between Thomas and Celtics GM Danny Ainge has died down, I.T. has revealed an interesting fact about his time from Boston.
In a conversation with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Thomas talked about the lingering hip injury he dealt with throughout last season. Thomas believes he gave all that he had for the Celtics, regardless of the pain he was suffering from.
"Just wish I was able to be healthy and be able to give more because I felt we could have won [the Eastern Conference]." he said. "I was going to play till the end and I literally did that."
This rightly comes across as a display of the player's toughness, but it also shows just how much Boston betrayed their star.
Isaiah Thomas injured himself REPEATEDLY then made it worse by with said injury because without him, they had NO shot at wining regularly. He scored 29/30 BECAUSE HE HAD TO. If he didn't HAVE TO? He would've scored far less.— Dart_Adams (@Dart_Adams) November 15, 2017
Not only did Thomas play through the death of his sister during the playoffs, but he battled while dealing with a serious injury. The reason he can't be out there on the floor with Cleveland right now is because of the severity of that hip problem.
It'd be foolish to say that teams should always remain loyal beyond all other concerns.
The way the Celtics rode Isaiah Thomas until he broke down only to turn around and ship him out, however, was just wrong.