Isaiah Thomas Will Not Stop Until Kevin Durant Is On The Celtics
Isaiah Thomas has made two things very clear since he became a Celtic nearly a year and a half ago: he absolutely adores playing in Boston and he would love it even more if Kevin Durant came to play with him. You can say whatever you want about Boston sports fans, but one thing you can't say is that they aren't passionate. All apologies to Oklahoma City, I'm sure it's a wonderful place (?), but Chesapeake Energy Arena is no TD Garden.
::waits 30 seconds for the heads of Thunder fans to explode with fury::
The only real question is whether it's the kind of place that KD can picture himself playing and winning Championship. Thomas wholeheartedly believes it is. So no matter what you think about the odds of that happening, you've got to give the kid an A+ for effort. He's been as vocal as just about anyone in the league about trying to recruit the 2014 NBA MVP and 7-time All-Star, including in his most recent interview with USA Sports' For The Win.
Thomas has known Durant since their days of playing AAU basketball in high school, and it's clear that he's leaning on that longtime relationship to influence the 6'9" small forward to bring his talents to Beantown.
"I’ve known Kevin Durant since high school. He’s a year older than me, and we used to play AAU basketball against each other on the Nike circuit. And then, through being in the NBA, we’ve got a pretty solid friendship."
Thomas isn't just approaching the recruitment of Durant from just the level of a friend though. He also explained that he'd be meeting with Celtics GM Danny Ainge to offer his help in whatever form necessary.
"Whatever he needs me to do, I’m here to do and willing to help," said Thomas.
Part of Thomas' strategy from the beginning has been basic persistence, and apparently he's been sticking with that method leading up to this weekend. Durant has plans to meet with five teams on his shortlist at an undisclosed location in the Hamptons. When asked whether he'd been in touch with Durant, Thomas said that they'd spoken as recently as last week.
"Recently, yeah...I’ve been in his ear about being on the Celtics and all that. We’ve got a friendly conversation. I’ll do what we can to lure him to be on the Celtics, so we’ll see."
The other teams that Durant will be meeting with are the Golden State Warriors, The Los Angeles Clippers, the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. Of course, when asked about whether his selling points to Durant, Thomas has a well-worn script that he's put together to tout the virtues of living and playing in the city of Boston.
"Boston is a great city," said Thomas. "The fans are amazing. The support they show you is the best in the NBA. And the support the organization gives you is the best in the NBA, too. And the history behind it … I mean, putting on Celtics jersey means becoming legendary. That’s the big thing. It feels like no other. And hopefully we’ll be adding number 18 to the Celtics, and a few others. Hopefully we can get Durant."
One thing is for certain, there is no other player on any other team that has been more outspoken in their public recruitment of Durant. And it goes without saying that he'd be a great addition to the team that Brad Stevens has built over the last few seasons, but as myself and many others have said before, there are so many other factors that go into a free agency decision that probably won't fall in Boston's favor.
Plus, it's pretty clear that Durant's best chance at a Championship in 2017 is with the Thunder. If he decides to leave, it will be for reasons beyond just the viability of a chance at a ring.
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