Isaiah Thomas

Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports

Stephen A. Smith crushes Isaiah Thomas for sitting out return to Boston

John Tomase
January 03, 2018 - 10:17 am

Isaiah Thomas returned with a bang on Tuesday night, scoring 17 points in 19 minutes to lead the Cavaliers to a blowout win over the Blazers.

It was never going to be good enough for ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.

Appearing on First Take on Tuesday, the bombastic host laid into Thomas for deciding to sit out Wednesday night's showdown in Boston against his former team, the conference-leading Celtics.

"I'm very upset about it," Smith said. "Let me tell you something right now, this is Isaiah Thomas. I mean he can be a sensitive lad from time to time, but the bottom line is he's a great dude, phenomenal young player, phenomenal player, miniature player. 5-foot-9, averaged 28.9 a game, 46 percent shooting last (season), 38 percent from 3-point range, was a league MVP candidate but the hips went bad, and the first day you come back is the day before you go against Boston in Boston?

"Now, I understand what this means. We've got know -- because you know, he hasn't played all season long so he might not be ready, and if he might not be ready, why would we expose him against his old team back in Boston? But let me tell you something right now, and the city of Boston is a phenomenal sports town. I am willing to bet the house that they are going to give him a wonderful ovation. They love the kid because he never wanted to leave. It would have been nice to see him play."

The Cavaliers had already announced that they didn't want Thomas playing in back-to-back games in his return from a serious hip injury that had sidelined him since last May's Eastern Conference Finals. Thomas has already promised to put on a show in Boston next month when the Cavs return.

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