During his time in Sacramento, Isaiah Thomas made a habit out of showing up to local parks and gyms to run pick up games. When he didn’t know where the good run was he’d just ask on Twitter, even on game days.
And he’d even look for runs in town after he’d left to play elsewhere.
Well apparently old habits die hard, because the Boston Celtics All-Star point guard is doing the same thing on the east coast, popping up at parks to shoot some hoops and make people’s days, when he’s not breaking their ankles.
According to the Boston Globe, Isaiah was leaving back-to-school night at his son’s local pre-K when he decided he wanted to join a softball game at a nearby park. Thinking better of it, Thomas turned his attention to the basketball court at the park and noticed a lone teenager getting some shots up and decided that’s what he’d do instead.
That’s where Isaiah encountered 14-year-old Robbie McNulty, “He was the only kid there,s o I’m like, ‘I’m just going to go get some shots up with him,’” Thomas told The Globe. “When I walked over, he rebounded his own shot and turned around and I’m like, ‘Can I get a couple shots?’ And he stopped. He didn’t even say a word, like his eyes were so big. He just stopped and froze and I’m like, ‘Pass me the ball.’”
As it turns out, Robbie is a die-hard Celtics fan, and Thomas is his favorite player. “I was kind of just like dribbling with my mouth open and looking at him, maybe waiting for him to say something,” Robbie said. “He was like, ‘Can I shoot with you?’ And I’m thinking, ‘Can I shoot with you? Is this actually Isaiah Thomas?’”
The two put shots up for about 10 minutes, and of course Robbie had to get a selfie before Thomas had to leave. The caption? A very 14-year-old “OMFG Isaih Thomas played basketball with me,” typo and all.
“I love just little interactions like that,” Thomas said. “I know it means a lot, because I was once in his shoes. I was once that kid at games wanting a player to just wave to me and acknowledge me, so I know that feeling and I know that’s my job now. I knew maybe even if he didn’t know who I was it would be cool to just rebound for him and shoot with him for the 10 minutes that I did.”