Isaiah Thomas made quite an impact in his debut for the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. Thomas exploded for 19 points in his first game back in the NBA as he provided a preview of what he can bring to the table for LeBron James and the rest of the squad.
This isn’t the first time Thomas has played alongside LeBron. IT had a brief spell with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2017-18 season wherein he was able to share the backcourt with The King. When asked what the difference is between now and his Cavs stint with LeBron, Thomas had a simple response:
“For me, I’m healthy,” Thomas said, via Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation. “I’m able to provide for him. … I can help him.”
IT’s partnership with LeBron in Cleveland did not really work out. Thomas was coming off back-to-back All-Star appearances with the Boston Celtics when the C’s sent him to the Cavs as part of the Kyrie Irving blockbuster deal in 2017. IT played just 15 games before being traded mid-season to, incidentally, the Lakers.
As Thomas revealed in his statement, however, the main difference is that he was not healthy during his Cavs stint. At that time, the 5-foot-9 point guard was dealing with a lingering hip injury that prevented him from making his debut for Cleveland until January. He barely had a chance to make his mark alongside LeBron before the Cavs decided to ship him off one month later.
In Thomas’ mind, things are going to be much different this time around. The 32-year-old recently underwent surgery to address his hip injury and he previously said that this is the first time he’s been pain-free in a very long time. He’s worked extremely hard to get another chance to play in the NBA and he’s grateful that the Lakers have rewarded him with a shot. Thomas will do everything he can to prove that he’s worthy of playing in the NBA and he will take full advantage of the opportunity he has right now. IT is currently on a 10-day deal with LA and he will be hoping to upgrade his contract to a more permanent one in the near future.