Celtics’ Thomas humbly claims he’s ‘the best player in the world’

Posted: 24/01/2017 in NBA, Sports
Tags: , , , ,

NBA: Playoffs-Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics

Whether it’s due to his small stature, or the fact that he was picked dead last in the 2011 NBA draft, Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas consistently plays with a chip on his shoulder, always feeling that he has something to prove.

Currently in his second full season in Beantown, the 5-foot-9 floor general is taking the Association by storm as its second-leading scorer and most prolific offensive player when it matters most – in the fourth quarter. Thomas’ confidence continues to soar, as does his perception of himself compared to some of the NBA’s other top dogs.

“Not to be cocky, but I feel like I’m the best player in the world,” Thomas told The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor. “That’s just the work I put in, and if you don’t feel like that, then you’re cheating yourself.”

Thomas is averaging 10.1 points during the final 12 minutes of regulation, and is the only player averaging double figures. No one since 1996 (when quarter-by-quarter statistics began being recorded) has accomplished that feat. His output also comes with tremendous percentages of 48.4 percent from the field, 43.7 percent from 3-point range, and 89.9 percent at the charity stripe.

Only once in 39 appearances has the 27-year-old failed to score 20 or more points in a game, and that came in a blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors in November when he barely missed the cut with 18.

His production was more than worthy of strong consideration for a starting nod with the Eastern Conference All-Stars, although Thomas fell just short in that regard due to a tiebreaker situation with guard DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors for the second backcourt slot.

Being a part of such a storied organization, where some of the sport’s biggest names once donned its colors, isn’t lost on Thomas, who’s happy to have the faith from management that he can be a franchise star and one day reach that level.

“A lot of people in this organization feel that way about my game, and that’s the good thing about it,” Thomas said, acknowledging how Danny Ainge once told him he could become a Celtics legend. “When you have an organization and coaching staff and players that are behind you, that gives you the utmost confidence to just keep going. They love me for who I am, and I haven’t had that in a long time.

“I’m not the typical point guard, and usually, people don’t like what’s not normal.”

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