It’s been a minute since we’ve seen Isaiah Thomas suit up in an NBA game. He last took the floor on Feb. 3, 2020, during his stint with the Washington Wizards, and following a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers that saw him subsequently get waived, Thomas has been sitting on the sideline waiting for a team to call and request his services.
A call did come earlier this month, but it wasn’t a team in the Association. USA Basketball put Thomas on its list of potential players for FIBA AmeriCup qualifying, and on Friday, IT made his debut in a 93-77 win over the Bahamas. Thomas and former NBA journeyman James Nunnally led the way for the U.S. with 19 points, with Thomas going 7-for-15 from the field and 5-for-9 from three.
Thomas was not the only grizzled vet to get some run and have a nice night for the Americans — seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson scored 11 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Brandon Bass had a double-double off the bench with 12 points and 10 rebounds. After the game, Thomas spoke about his performance and what went through his mind with his return to action.
“It felt great,” Thomas said. “It’s my first time playing in a little over a year. So, you know, I was a little rusty, but it felt amazing to be out there, competing against really good players, and also representing my country. So, I was happy to be out there, it felt good, and most importantly, we got the win and we’ll be back at it tomorrow.”
Next up for Thomas and the United States is a matchup with Mexico on Saturday. The game is scheduled to tip at 5 p.m. EST, and will air on ESPN+. USA Basketball has already qualified for AmeriCup 2022, which will take place next September.