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Isaiah Thomas Is Worried About Messing Up The Cavaliers’ Elaborate Handshakes


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There aren’t many players in the NBA that exude more on-court confidence than Isaiah Thomas. Don’t let his 5’9″ frame fool you. He’s as tough as they come, and he can do it all. There is a reason why he was dubbed Mr. 4th Quarter for the Boston Celtics last season. He’s got the basketball part down.

Knowing what we know about Thomas, it shouldn’t surprise you that from a schematic standpoint, he wasn’t worried about fitting in with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Most players would consider how they fit within a new scheme when they’re changing teams, particularly when you consider how different playing with LeBron James is compared to everyone else in the league, but that’s not Isaiah Thomas. He’s never lacked confidence.

What was Isaiah Thomas worried about when he found out he was being traded to the Cavaliers? Handshakes. No, really. Handshakes.

Thomas sat down for an interview with Fox Sports Ohio’s Allie Clifton, and was asked: “What’s tougher right now; not being able to compete, or making sure you don’t mess up any handshake?” Isaiah Thomas’ answer? The handshakes.

“The handshakes. When I got traded here that’s one of the first things, I’m like ‘dang, I’m going to have to get my handshakes down.’ I really wasn’t worried about the on-court things, I’m like ‘man, these handshakes are very serious.’ But, that’s probably the biggest thing. All the other stuff, I’ll figure that out.”

It’s a fair concern. The Cleveland Cavaliers have a truly unique pre-game handshake routine. Fox Sports Ohio documented some of their elaborate handshakes last season, and yeah, it’s a lot to take in.

While it’s a silly answer from Thomas, his quip makes a lot of sense. He’s been playing basketball for his entire life, he hasn’t been working on 10-step handshakes for more than a few months. Thomas shouldn’t be too worried, though. If worse comes to worst, his teammates can always give him the Kevin Love treatment.

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