Great Escape: Isaiah Thomas Will Make GMs Pay
Manu Ginobili was drafted 57th in 1999, Wesley Matthews wasn’t drafted at all when he entered the NBA in 2009, and every year there is a possibility that a player, overlooked by so many front offices, will come back to haunt them like Matthews and Ginobili.
In the 2011 NBA Draft it’s Washington University’s 5’9″, 185 pound guard, Isaiah Thomas, the last of the 60 players to have his named called when he was finally chosen by the Sacramento Kings.
It’s almost to scary to think about. A small guard who has no doubt faced questions about how productive he can be at his size, has been one of the best college point guards in the country regardless by playing with more heart than anyone out on the court, and now the teams that passed on Isaiah Thomas 59 times in the NBA Draft have just given him even more motivation.
All Isaiah Thomas did this past year as a junior at Washington University was lead the Huskies in points (16.8 ppg), lead the Huskies in assists (6.1 apg) and just lead the Huskies in general.
Besides the numbers on the stat sheet at the end of each game, Thomas also gave the Huskies their best production when it mattered most.
In overtime of the Pac-10 Tournament championship game against Arizona, it was Thomas who had the ball in his hands with the game tied at 75 and hit the game-winning fadeaway jump shot at the buzzer.
Then, less than a week later in the NCAA Tournament, Thomas broke up a pass in the final seconds against Georgia to protect Washington’s three point lead and secure the win. That performance prompted high praise from teammates after the game.
“He’s our leader,” said Huskies guard C.J. Wilcox. ”He puts the team on his back and does whatever he has to do to win — knocks down big shots, need a defensive stop, he does it.”
How many players do you know that could elicit that type of response from his defensive play in the same week he came up huge in the clutch offensively as well?
That takes someone with a lot of heart and motivation to give his all out on the court. And after being disrespected in the draft, Thomas has a reason to give even more, and more people to give it to.