BOSTON (CBS) — With just four returning players from last year’s team, the Boston Celtics have been playing a lot of video tributes this season.
Avery Bradley was treated to a wonderful tribute when he was introduced as a member of the Detroit Pistons in November, and Kelly Olynyk received the team’s “Heroes Among Us” award when he returned as a member of the Miami Heat.
But the most high-profiled departure of the summer won’t be treated to a video tribute when he returns for the first time on Wednesday night. Isaiah Thomas, sent to Cleveland in Boston’s blockbuster swap for Kyrie Irving, will make his season and Cavaliers debut on Tuesday night but will not suit up when the Cavs pay a visit to Boston on Wednesday. So per Thomas’ request, the Celtics will not play a video tribute for their former All Star guard.
But the lack of a video won’t stop Boston fans from showering Thomas with cheers and love come Wednesday. Thomas was an instant hit in Boston upon his arrival at the 2015 trade deadline, thanks to his booming personality and scoring prowess despite his small stature. He provided plenty of highlights for a tribute video in his two-and-a-half seasons with the Celtics, and it will probably be pretty difficult for the Celtics’ video department to cut it down to just a few minutes. At least now they have some extra time to put it together.
While he won’t be honored on Wednesday night, the Celtics did say they plan on playing a tribute for Thomas in the future. That will likely come on Feb. 11 when the Cavaliers make their second (and final) visit to Boston of the regular season. With Paul Pierce’s No. 34 set to be retired after the game, tickets to that game will become an even hotter commodity in Boston.