Isaiah Thomas interview
February 17, 2017

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Isaiah Thomas interviewHere's what Celtics and NBA All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas had to say Friday to the media at 2017 NBA All-Star weekend.

Question: Does this year feel different than last year for you?

Isaiah Thomas: Yeah. I'm more comfortable. I know what to expect. I'm just happy to be here. So it's a great moment for me to enjoy this weekend.

Question: Do you think coaches and fans and players still don't understand how good you are because of where you were drafted?

Thomas: I think so. I think some people still doubt. Some people still don't give me my just due and my respect. All I say is I'm going to keep going. I got more to show. I feel like I can continue to get better. It's only the beginning.

Question: What evidence do you have that people don't really understand quite how good you are?

Thomas: They've always got something to say. At the end of the day, it always comes back to my height. If I was 6'1", they would probably call me the best player in the world, and I'm not 6'1". It's always something. It's been like that my whole life. So I'm not surprised.

Question: If you were 6'1", do you think you would be quite a bit better than you are at 5'9"?

Thomas: Yeah, I'm 5'9", man. I don't know. I've never been 6'1", so I couldn't tell you.

Question: If you ever get to a point where no one disrespects you, will you make something up?

Thomas: People ask me that, and they think the chip will fall if everybody were to love me, but it wouldn't. I'm built a little different. I find things to motivate me, and if it were to be the other way around, I would find something else that will motivate me to hopefully one day become great.

Question: Two questions. The first question is what kind of motivation would you give to the small players out there just like playing in leagues with a bunch of big players around to achieve to your level? And the second question is like what does it feel like when you see the locals, like locals in your own shoes out there, and you're playing in your own shoes instead of someone else's?

Thomas: I would tell kids just have faith in yourself, work hard and have fun. That's all the things I've done with a little bit of luck on my side. If you believe in yourself, it can take you a long way. Then the shoe thing is just, I mean, everything is falling into place. Hopefully, one day I can have my own shoe and be like them other superstars.

Question: When Danny Ainge told you when you got to Boston that you'd be one of the greatest Celtics ever, what did you think?

Thomas: I thought he was lying. I thought he was just trying to make me feel better about the trade coming from Phoenix to Boston. But he saw something that I didn't even see, and now I'm starting to see it. I'm not saying I'm one of the best ever to put on a Celtics uniform, but I want to be in that direction.

Question: What did Danny see in you that you didn't even see in yourself?

Thomas: I mean, what he saw is what I always knew. I just didn't think about the Celtics' legend thing. When you think about the Celtics, they have so many great players, you're not even thinking about being on that level. But the things he envisioned for myself, I always believed in myself if given the opportunity. I just didn't know how much opportunity I would have when I came to the Celtics.

Question: When all is said and done, what's your goal in your career, your individual goal?

Thomas: It was last year to be the greatest little guy to ever play the game. Now things moving like they are, I want to be the greatest player to ever play. I know I've got a long way to go. I'm not even close, but you've got to shoot high.