For a man of diminutive stature, Isaiah Thomas carries a large chip on his shoulder. Theoretically the NBA's version of "Mr. Irrelevant" as the final selection of the 2011 draft, Thomas has carved out two All-Star appearances and the role of Boston Celtics leading scorer the last three seasons.
While he's spoken about being an underdog before, Thomas offered further insight into being a (listed) 5-foot-9 NBA star.
"To all those people that said, 'He's a spark plug off the bench, a sixth man at best, a volume scorer who can't play defense ... I am going to keep going," Thomas told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears. "I am going to make everybody eat their words. They didn't want to give me my just due. That's what keeps pushing me till this day."
Even while a significant set of Celtics observers wonders aloud if Thomas anchoring the team can pay postseason dividends, the fact remains at the present time, he is Boston's offense. Since returning from a groin injury on Dec. 16, he's averaged 32.5 points a game on near-50 percent field-goal shooting - including over 41 percent from three. Thomas currently has the same player efficiency rating as Kevin Durant (27.5).
"Getting the opportunity to be a 'franchise guy' and getting the keys to the team, I could play at this level," Thomas said. "I always believed in myself and believed that something like this short height by NBA standards could be a blessing in disguise. This might not sound right, but I use my height to my advantage."