The Boston Celtics’ star player Isaiah Thomas did his late sister proud on Tuesday night when he led his team back for an overtime win over the Washington Wizards.
When asked in the post-game interview on TNT where his phenomenal performance came from, Thomas said: “It’s my sister — happy birthday — she would have been 23 today. Everything I do is for her and she’s watching over me.
“My sister wouldn’t want me to stop … Once I leave this gym, she’s not here,” he continued, describing the Celtics’ comeback against John Wall and the Wizards.
Thomas spoke at his sister’s funeral on Saturday in their home state of Washington, saying: “When I found out the news [of there death] I wanted to give up and quit. And never in my life have I ever thought about quitting.
“I realized quitting isn’t an option. That’s the easy way out. I will keep going for my sister, as I know she wouldn’t want me to stop. I love you Chyna and I miss you so much. And everything I do for the rest of my life will be for you. I love you, girl.”
Instead of quitting, he returned to Boston and hit the court for two back-to-back wins.
Thomas’ gutsy comeback Tuesday in the wake of a tragedy was praised on social media by the likes of former New England Patriots star LeGarrette Blount and ESPN’s Michael Wilbon.
53pts!!!!!! RIDICULOUS performance from my bro @Isaiah_Thomas 🔥🔥🔥
— LeGarrette Blount (@LG_Blount) May 3, 2017
Celtics' Isaiah Thomas in emotional TNT walk-off interview: "My sister wouldn't want me to stop… Once I leave this gym, she's not here." pic.twitter.com/HFdXJYDKWb
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 3, 2017
My God, Isaiah Thomas…his sister's birthday…one of the extraordinary nights and performances in NBA playoff history…
— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) May 3, 2017
"There was no way I couldn’t play on her birthday," Isaiah Thomas says of his sister, Chyna. "I wanted to win for her."
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 3, 2017
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) May 3, 2017
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) May 3, 2017