Suns Retorter: It's a Family Affair for Isaiah Thomas
During an introductory press conference it isn’t unusual to catch a player’s eyes wandering around the Al McCoy Media center taking in the entire event from his perch high atop the risers that hold the podium where he’s seated at. Who can blame them? It’s a natural tendency when a person finds himself in a new environment and are trying to acclimate himself to it.
Thus was the case for Isaiah Thomas on Monday. But unlike many before him, his glances were purposeful. Throughout the proceedings you could see his eyes look down and to his right. At first you wouldn’t think much of it. It could easily have been brushed off like the many other looks that have been seen at press conferences more often than 100 degree temperatures in Phoenix. That is, until you realized who was sitting in the front row.
In front of the throng of media in attendance sat the five most important people in attendance, at least to Isaiah. They were his fiancé Kayla, his mom, Tina, father Keith and his sons James and Jaiden, who were already sporting their own custom Suns jerseys.
The looks he gave were a simple acknowledgment that the five people, and in particular his two sons, were, in part the reason Thomas was here in the first place.
“When I had my first son James it kind of put life into perspective that I’m not living life just for myself,” Thomas expressed with pride in his eyes. “I’m living life for my sons and my family.”
It doesn’t come as a surprise just how important his loved ones are to anyone who is familiar with Thomas. Even those who only know him digitally see it. The roughly 165,000 fans who follow him on Twitter are abundantly aware of it every time they look at his feed. His header photo is his two boys but, even though a picture is worth a thousand words, the 25 words just below it in his bio truly say it all.
Isaiah Thomas Poses with his family after press conference.
Proud Father! If all I'm remembered for is being a good basketball player, then I've done a bad job with the rest of my life.
Luckily for the Suns and his family, he’s both. It’s that kind of off the court dedication mixed with his on the court tenacity and fun loving energy that made him the perfect fit in Phoenix. But it wasn’t just about Thomas being right for the Suns. It was just as much about Phoenix being right for Thomas and his family.
Proof of that came immediately upon his arrival in the Valley for his free agent visit.
“It’s a blessing from God,” the 5-9 guard said of joining the Suns. “When I came here for my visit [the kids jerseys] were the first two things they showed me. They had my sons’ names on the back of the jerseys. That was big for me. Not just welcoming me with opening arms and wanting me. They wanted my family.”
It’s those little things that helped make the Suns so special last season. Thanks to a front office and a group of players who cared about each other on and off the court the Suns found a unique chemistry. It didn’t go unnoticed.
“I just wanted to be a part of something like that,” Thomas admitted. “I’m a fan of basketball so I watched a lot of basketball and the Phoenix Suns were a team I watched a lot last year. There was a lot of excitement. The guys seemed like they played for each other not with each other. They just have fun out there.”
As a family man doing things for each other rather than just simply with each other is an attitude Thomas is all too familiar with. It’s a way of life for him and why he’ll fit right in with his new basketball family as well.
“I care about the people who care about me,” Thomas said with a smile.
So the next time you hear someone describe Thomas as someone who “creates for others as well as himself”, realize they aren’t just talking about the five man lineup he’s a part of. They’re also referring to the five most important people in his life too.