Isaiah Thomas Declines Celtics Video Tribute, Cites Paul Pierce Night Conflict

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers' Isaiah Thomas drives against the Golden State Warriors in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas will let Paul Pierce keep all the attention on Feb. 11. 

The Boston Celtics were planning to show a tribute video for Thomas before the game against the Cavs, but the point guard declined the offer after recent controversy:

The Celtics are set to honor Paul Pierce that same night, retiring his No. 34 jersey, and the star said he didn't want to share the stage.

"On February 11, the night I get my jersey retired, I’m not sure I want to look up at the jumbotron and see Isaiah highlights," Pierce said on ESPN's The Jump earlier this month (h/t NBA.com).

Pierce spent 15 of his 19 seasons in the NBA with the Celtics, earning 10 All-Star appearances and four All-NBA selections in this stretch. He helped the team bring home the 2008 NBA title while earning Finals MVP in the process.

He retired after playing for the Clippers last season, and the team announced in August it would retire his jersey in February.

About two weeks after that announcement, the Celtics traded Thomas in a package that brought back Kyrie Irving. While the move appears to have worked to this point, it also removed a beloved player who had earned back-to-back All-Star appearances in Boston.

Thomas finished last year ranked third in the NBA with 28.9 points per game before leading the squad to the Eastern Conference Finals.

While his effort deserves a tribute video upon his return to TD Garden, the Celtics decided not to show it on Jan. 3 when these teams faced each other since Thomas was not in the lineup due to his hip injury. General manager Danny Ainge announced it would be postponed to their next matchup, which will be the last time the Cavs face the Celtics during the regular season.

Unfortunately, it now appears one team legend will overshadow a former star.

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