Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas who had lost his younger sister a day ago showed lots of courage when he decided to play in the crucial match between Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls. Notwithstanding the fact that his team lost the match thanks to superlative game played by the Bulls, it was Isaiah Thomas who won the hearts of his fans and others.
There is no denying that Boston Celtics were favorites to win the match. The team had done supremely well till now and they were expected to become stronger in the postseason. Nonetheless Bulls’ Jimmy Butler made sure the wait for a playoff victory was a short one. Butler had 30 points and nine rebounds and the Bulls outlasted top-seeded Boston 106-102 in Game 1 on Sunday on an emotional night for grieving Celtics star Isaiah Thomas.
There is no denying that it must have taken more than courage to play the match merely a day after the death of his little sister, Chyna Thomas, who lost her life to a horrible road accident. The 22-year old girl who reportedly worked for FedEx in its delivery department was some six year younger than her celebrated brother.
Despite the personal loss, and the psychological stress that it brought in its wake, Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 33 points. But Butler overcame a united Garden crowd and led Chicago to the victory, scoring 23 points in the second half.
After their superlative game and an impressive win, Butler said, “We were so locked in all week…We knew their stuff, just like they knew ours. But we executed extremely well. We haven’t done that all season, but this is the right time to do it.”
Meanwhile the accident in which Chyna Thomas lost her life was a terrible one. She died on the spot even before being taken to the hospital. A report in the Tacoma News-Tribune while talking about the incident says that the 22-year old half sister of the point guard was driving along I-5 in Washington when her car veered off of the road. A witness told the newspaper that Chyna’s 1998 Toyota Camry that she had been driving normally until it began drifting 50 feet into a barrier and metal pole.
An eyewitness who watched the accident in motion told KIRO7 “All of a sudden it started to drift very casually onto the left shoulder…That vaulted the vehicle head-on into the sign post”. The car came to rest on top of the barrier and against a large metal pole holding a carpool sign on the shoulder of the freeway.
Isaiah and Chyna’s father James Thomas, while talking to Boston Herald said, “It’s a crucial time for our family.” Isaiah was told of his sister’s passing just after the Celtics’ afternoon practice session. ESPN reports that Isaiah’s teammate Avery Bradley broke the tragic news inside a trainer’s room.