Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Isaiah Thomas makes profound observation on double standard of free agency in Boston farewell letter

Alex Reimer
September 06, 2017 - 4:12 pm

Isaiah Thomas’ emotional farewell letter to Boston includes a profound observation on the double standard of free agency. 

The beloved ex-Celtics point guard says the surprise trade to Cleveland last month served as a reminder of who holds the power in professional sports. Even though Thomas played through dental surgery, a damaged hip and the death of his sister last season, the Celtics still opted to trade him. But yet, the team won’t be portrayed as a disloyal villain. When a hometown player signs with another club, however, the reaction is often different. Thomas cites the scorn Kevin Durant received last year when he decided to join the Warriors. 

“But that’s what I think my trade can show people. I want them to see how my getting traded — just like that, without any warning — by the franchise that I scratched and clawed for, and bled for, and put my everything on the line for? That’s why people need to fix their perspective,” Thomas said. “It’s like, man — with a few exceptions, unless we’re free agents, 99 times out of 100, it’s the owners with the power. So when players are getting moved left and right, and having their lives changed without any say-so, and it’s no big deal … but then the handful of times it flips, and the player has control … then it’s some scandal? Just being honest, but — to me, that says a lot about where we are as a league, and even as a society. And it says a lot about how far we still have to go.”

Thomas hasn’t been shy about his desire to receive a maximum contract in free agency next year. In an interview this summer, he declared teams will have to “bring the Brinks truck out” in order to sign him.

At 28 years old, Thomas may never have another opportunity to cash in, and he’s unapologetic about it. The events of the last two weeks is a reminder that nobody should blame hm.

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