When the Sacramento Kings drafted Washington Huskie Isaiah Thomas with the final pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, I’m not sure I can recall a fan base being so collectively excited over the final pick of a draft, in any sport. Nobody knew what was to come, but it seemed at least that the educated population of King fans knew Thomas had some tools – little did we know just how many.
The pint sized point guard sat down with Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld recently and talked NBA playoffs, his rookie season and much more:
“I went into every game thinking, ‘Okay, this team passed on me. They didn’t pick me.’ Every day, it was on my mind. I wanted to go out there and show them that they missed out on something special. I looked at other players and thought, ‘This guy was drafted ahead of me. I may not be better than him, but I’m going to outwork him.’ It made me work harder because I wanted to show the NBA and the world that I could compete on this level. I think I did an okay job of that this year.”
Just okay, huh Isaiah?
For Thomas, who missed any sort of extended training camp and the Summer League thanks to the NBA lockout, his rookie season was anything but just “okay” as the Seattle native earned his starting gig and promptly ran away with it, averaging nearly 15 points a game and 5.5 assists in the seasons final month.
From fighting for a roster spot in early December to finishing out the season as one of the Kings top players and best rookies in the class, I’d say that’s more than just “okay”, Mr. Thomas.