Isaiah Thomas will surely never forget the messy situation surrounding his unceremonious trade from Boston to Cleveland two summers ago. But the ​Celtics fans that watched in absolute awe as he put up MVP-quality numbers in 2016-17 and went off in the playoffs despite getting absolutely shocked with the tragic news of his sister's death. And though he may now be a member of the Denver Nuggets and nothing at all like he was before being hobbled by chronic injuries, he still brought the TD Garden to its feet upon his long-awaited return.

IT may still have strong feelings about how Danny Ainge managed his exit from the team in the trade that brought Kyrie Irving back from the ​Cavaliers, but that still can't possibly do much to dull the force of the profound emotions in the building tonight.

Thomas will always be an ​NBA folk hero for what he was able to accomplish in his final season with the C's. It's encouraging to see just how many of the locals still adore the man despite everything that's happened since.