LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas

LeBron James goes on Twitter rant about Celtics fans burning Isaiah Thomas’ jersey

LeBron James took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon to scold Boston Celtics fans that were seen burning the jersey of former point guard Isaiah Thomas, who was traded away to the Cleveland Cavaliers along with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round draft pick for Kyrie Irving.

A couple of Celtics fans videoed themselves torching Thomas’ jersey after the completion of the blockbuster trade, but something tells me that it was more of an attempt to go viral rather out of distaste for Thomas. 

Thomas had no say in the swap, and it was never reported that he had requested a trade from the franchise in which he ascended to superstar status. This trade is another exemplification of the business side of basketball, a landscape that can be brutal and devoid of loyalty

Boston believed they could get a player younger and better than Thomas, all while having to avoid the drive down the tricky contractual road that would’ve presented itself next offseason with Thomas, who covets a max contract.

James also referenced Gordon Hayward, who happened to leave the small-market Utah Jazz this offseason in lieu of the Celtics and his former college coach Brad Stevens. Many in Utah, including fans, players, and management, were sour about Hayward’s departure, and more than a couple of fans made igniting his jersey a common practice this summer.

Utah had drafted Hayward, and the city and their star had forged a bond. The status of their basketball team grew as his game did, making for a unamicable divorce when it was all said done. 

This is a testament to how invested we as fans become in these teams and players. There is an undistinguishable pride that comes with being a fan of a certain team and or player, and in the context of a team, we expect our best players to share that same sense of gratification in representing our favorite franchise.

When that is betrayed, fans feel an overwhelming deal of hurt and agitation. Those emotions push some to resort to something as asinine as burning a jersey, something James is simply not a fan of. 

If anyone understands the nature of fickle fans, it’s James, who was vilified after leaving the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in the summer of 2010. Cleveland fans would later welcome James back to the city with open arms in the summer of 2014, and he’d later help the championship-starved city claim their first trophy with a 2016 NBA Finals win over the Golden State Warriors.

 

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