Former Cavalier Isaiah Thomas made a few comments regarding the Cavs in an interview for ESPN’s E:60. The full interview will air on March 11th, but ESPN gathered the highlights for an article on their website.
“I didn’t think they would pull the trigger that fast, 15 games, but again, it’s a business. And the Cavs were, I mean, they were in panic mode. We were losing — a lot. And I think they felt like they needed to make a move, and they, they basically cleared house”
Later in the interview, Thomas elaborated further about the situation prior to the trade.
“It was a tough situation I was being put in, It was — it was different. … It’s hard to get acclimated to a team halfway through the season.
People don’t put in there that we had eight or nine new players. So it was basically a brand new team. … I’m in a new system. New team, new coach, new players. And then I’ve been off for seven months. So I got to get — individually, I got to for the most part get my rhythm back, get my timing back.”
We all knew it was going to take time for him to get back healthy and 15 games is not enough time. While he was here, though, it never sounded like he was willing to accept a different role while he was still getting acclimated and getting his rhythm back. In fact, from all the reports released during the Cavs’ rough stretch before the trade, it seemed the opposite. We all saw some of the ridiculous shots he was taking on the court as well.
While I don’t necessarily disagree with what he is saying about the team being in panic mode when they made the trade, it doesn’t sound like he is willing to accept some of the blame for their issues. The Cavs locker room was in disarray, which he was partially to blame for and he wasn’t producing on the court. It’s not like they were losing despite him, they were losing BECAUSE of him. He wasn’t some innocent bystander in this thing.
Now, it’s not entirely fair for me to sit here and rip him after reading these quotes out of context. The interview hasn’t been released yet, so I don’t know what questions were being asked that lead to these responses. These just aren’t the only negative comments he’s made regarding the Cavs organization after the trade. From what I’ve read about him, it just hasn’t sounded like he’s accepted any personal responsibility for why it didn’t work out on the Cavs.