And So It Begins: Dime’s NBA Draft Diary With Isaiah Thomas, Part 6

By: 10.26.11
Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas (design. Ryan Hurst)

After leading Washington to back-to-back conference titles in the Pac-10 Tournament the last two seasons, Isaiah Thomas decided the time was right to test his talents on another level: the NBA. During his time in Seattle, the 5-9 guard was nothing short of an offensive force. Averaging 16.8 points and 6.1 assists per game last season, Zeke was able to navigate UW to a Sweet Sixteen appearance in the NCAA Tournament. And as the kid embarks on his journey away from college and into the pros, we wanted to give him his own space, and voice, to roam. In his sixth installment, follow along with Isaiah on his journey as a member of the Sacramento Kings…

*** *** ***

What’s good, everybody? It’s been about a month or so since I last checked in with y’all and my people at Dime Mag.

Since my last diary entry, I’ve been on the go – doing everything I can to stay game-ready. It’s getting pretty frustrating because, as you know, the NBA is still locked out. I want more than anything for this to hurry up and end so I can get out to Sacramento and onto the court with my new teammates and coaches. But, I trust the veterans in the League and know they are negotiating with, not only their best interest at heart, but also my best interest, as well as the rest of the rookies. The good thing is that I am not really affected financially… I have never had any money to begin with, so it’s kind of like I’m still just a broke college student. LOL!

To stay busy during this lockout, I work out every day and play every Tuesday and Thursday in Seattle with some of the other Seattle pros like Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, Terrence Williams, Spencer Hawes, Will Conroy, Brandon Roy, etc. We have a very close-knit basketball circle and I can honestly say I am beyond blessed to have vets like that around me to learn the ins and outs. And it’s not just on the court, but life off of the court as well. All of those guys give back to their community in so many ways and continually motivate each other and push each other to do even more. I don’t think there’s any other city in the country with that kind of family feeling amongst their professional basketball players.

I’ve still been working out with my old UW teammates and am taking a few classes in pursuit of my degree. Education is something I take seriously and getting my degree is something I will cherish forever. It’s something nobody can ever take from me and something nobody can say I didn’t earn the hard way.

Page 2
Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas (design. Ryan Hurst)

About a month ago, I had the opportunity to fly out to Provo, Utah, a.k.a. “Jimmerville, USA.” LOL! My Kings’ teammate and backcourt mate, Jimmer Fredette, hosted a game for some of us rookies. I had way more fun than I ever expected to have in Provo because, in going there, I assumed everything was probably slow and very conservative. They proved me wrong, as the fans there know how to have a good time and showed all of us a lot of love! It was a competitive game, and we all went out there to have fun and put on a show for the fans. I think I finished with about 19 points and even snuck in a couple dunks.

After Utah, I flew down to Atlanta with my bro Nate Rob to play in “The Southern Hospitality Showcase,” put on by Marquis Daniels. It was fun and I had a chance to check out my bro/business manager Alonzo‘s alma mater (Morehouse College), which was where the game was played. Guys like Lou Williams, Damien Wilkins, Rajon Rondo, Iman Shumpert, Trey Thompkins, and Jeff Teague all played. ATL was a blast. I definitely got to get back out there.

Last week, I played in the “Reignman Classic,” a pro-am type tournament put on by Shawn Kemp and his wife Marvena. Of course my “home team” bro’s (Jamal, Will, etc.) and I took home the chip! It’s always fun playing with those guys. Jamal is easily one of the most unguardable players I’ve ever seen, so I take every chance I can to learn from him and pick his brain. And Will is just a natural leader/motivator.

I’ve got a pretty busy November planned ahead of me as well. I’m going to be playing in a few charity games that are coming up, which will keep me busy and focused. First up is LaMarcus Aldridge‘s game in Portland on Nov. 6, then off to Dallas on Nov. 12 for Josh Howard‘s “Celebrity Weekend.” After that, it’s out to Sacramento on Nov. 20 for Donte Greene‘s “Goon Squad Classic.”

I cannot wait to get back out to Sacramento; haven’t been there since right after the Draft. Going to be a great opportunity to get to know some of my teammates and learn the city.

Gotta get back in this gym, so until next time…

-Zeke

Follow Isaiah on Twitter at @Isaiah_Thomas2.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.

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