It was five o’clock Saturday morning when Boston Celtics superstar Isaiah Thomas’ 22-year-old sister Chyna drifted off the left shoulder of a Washington State interstate. She was not wearing a seatbelt, and she died at the scene of the crash.
With a little help from a struggling Cavs team, Isaiah Thomas led his Celtics to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, setting them up against the number eight seed Chicago Bulls. Thomas’ determination, especially in the fourth quarter, is nothing short of extraordinary. The league knows that he has poured his heart and soul into this basketball season. With all the effort he has put forth for his team this year, the challenge of taking his team to the Finals is even more difficult with the loss of his sister.
The NBA Playoffs bring out the peak competitiveness from each of the sixteen teams involved. Sure, the regular season is important in terms of getting a high seed, home-court advantage and things of that nature, but the playoffs are a different kind of animal. With the passing of Isaiah’s sister, even in the most competitive time of the season, players they will see in the playoffs and fans across the sports community sent their condolences to the Thomas family, reminding him the strength of the community he is a part of:
As players try to stay focused at this critical time of the NBA season, they also can’t help but have empathy for a man who is competing at the highest level and is going through this tough time.
This was the report just before Game 1 between the Celtics and Bulls in Boston:
Aside from the players, Charles Barkley had an interesting take on Isaiah’s situation heading into game one:
Our contributor AJ Rupp from Dapper Sports put it well when he said “this is supposed to make us feel uncomfortable. When a loved one passes away, it’s in our nature to be overcome with emotion, rather than hiding those emotions away. IT’s courage to play is commendable knowing his tears would be plastered onto every headline and front page.”
Times like these transcend sports. The health and wellness of the families that surround sports should always be the most important. It is their hard work and support of one another that make sports possible.
I know I will personally be rooting for Celtics. Their love for one another as a team in such a hard time means a lot to me as a fan of the game, especially since some the most human aspects tend to be overlooked.
On behalf of the entire Abstract Sports team, our condolences go out to the Thomas family. May Chyna Thomas rest in peace.