Isaiah Thomas returns to Sacramento as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. It's his third NBA uniform since leaving the Kings four years ago. Sacramento picked him with the 60th pick in the 2011 NBA draft. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey. Feb. 24, 2018.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Sacramento, Calif. —
The last time Isaiah Thomas was in Sacramento, on Dec.27, he was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and close to returning from a hip injury that had him sidelined since the 2017 Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Thomas was then a member of the Boston Celtics.
When the Sacramento Kings played the Los Angeles Lakers at Golden 1 Center on Saturday night, the 5-foot-9 point guard was wearing a purple and gold uniform. It would be his fifth game playing for La La Land.
In less than a season, he has worn three different NBA uniforms. It didn’t matter to the Kings’ fans. When he checked into the game late in the first quarter, Thomas was greeted with a feel-the-love standing ovation.
“It’s all love when I come back to Sacramento,” Thomas said after the Lakers beat Sacramento 113-108. “They gave me my first opportunity, I love being around the city and the organization. It’s no revenge game. They know what I’m capable of doing. I gave this city everything I had.”
Thomas was the 60th pick, the last pick by the Kings, in the 2011 NBA Draft. He has also played for the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has been an All-Star selection in 2016 and 2017.
Unexpectedly, he and Channing Frye were traded to the Lakers in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. on Feb. 8. He appeared in 15 games for the Cavs, averaging 14.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game.
He started 14 of 15 games for the Cavs before his departure. His brief time in “The Land” and Phoenix is not something he considers stable positions.
“They don’t really count Phoenix or Cleveland,” Thomas said of his stops in Cleveland and Phoenix.
In his first four games in a Laker uniform, Thomas was averaging 12.2 points, 4.1 assists, and 1.2 rebounds in a reserve role. He had 17 points, four assists, and two rebounds in the victory over the Kings. He also made four of the Lakers’ last six free throws in the final 17 seconds to ensure the win.
Despite playing for a playoff contender the last two season, the Lakers now pay him for his service and they appreciate his spirit.
“It’s never easy for someone like him who has accomplished what he has coming to a new team after not really playing for seven months,” said Lakers head coach Luke Walton. “He’s been great, vocal with our young guys, helping and communicating how things should be done.”
Once the regular season ends in April for the Lakers, Thomas will be a free agent once that period arrives in the summer. He gave no indication what path he will go down, but his thought is solely on the people that mean the most.
“My family is my backbone and their always behind me. They go wherever I’m at,” Thomas said. “I’m just going to pick the best situation for me and my family.”
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 34 points, seven rebounds, two assists and knocked down 8 of 14 3-point shots to help the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Sacramento King.
Caldwell-Pope made five treys in the third quarter on his was to 17 points in the 12-minute frame. Seven players scored in double-digits for the Lakers (25-34). Julius Randle had 12 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and two steals.
Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield scored 21 points each for the Kings (18-41), who have lost three in row and the last two at G1C. Willie Cauley-Stein added 18 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for Sacramento.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS:
Lonzo Ball did not play against the Kings since he played the night before. Ball missed more than month with a knee issue. He had nine points, seven rebounds, and six assists in 17 minutes in Los Angeles 124-112 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 23.
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist
Twitter: Tony Ray Harvey @PublicityAgents
T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of The HOMICIDAL HANDYMAN OF OAK PARK: MORRIS SOLOMON JR.