Isaiah Thomas Still Hoping To Avoid Surgery On Hip

After meetings with doctors across the country over the past week, Thomas has appeared to get a consensus diagnosis that for now, he can prepare for next season without a major procedure to fix his torn labrum in his right hip.

Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas is eligible for an extension of his current deal this summer but said Friday that he's OK with waiting until he reaches unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2018 if that can help the Celtics improve now. "They want to let it die down a little bit then take another MRI once everything is down and looks back to normal. Because I think we saw it first hand, especially in these home games". He says surgery is "not the No. 1 option right now".

LeBron James said he didn't want to think about the Warriors on Thursday night because "it's too stressful".

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said though he's disappointed with how the season ended, he's encouraged that no one in Boston's locker room is satisfied just making it to the conference finals. I would think the Cavs would have to put LeBron on him for long stretches, as he's likely the best pure scorer in the game today. "But I definitely wasn't trying to hear that at that point in time". And then it just - it gave out. I know everything happens for a reason.

"I'm glad he finally admitted that he owes me money because for many years he wouldn't admit that he owed me money".

It gave out because of a unique deformity in the bones in his hip socket.

"They've said my hip's been a little different my whole life". "I'd love to be here long-term and win championships here". So I understand that.

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The signs that something was wrong were mounting, as Thomas was moving with noticeably less agility and did not show his usual intensity on the ball. How the Cavaliers are going to do that will be the interesting part of these playoffs. "We don't go into any series saying we're only going to play four games, we can't approach a series like that, like, "Yeah, we're going to play four.' You approach it with a mindset of, 'Of course we'd love to sweep them but you have to take that game by game". To me, it's insane to think that Danny Ainge will replace his best player but Thomas must be careful with his words. "I'm a guy who always got happy and excited seeing my team successful, seeing my individual teammates be successful and that's how I felt in Game 4 with Kyrie [Irving] doing what he did".

"Most importantly, they care about my health, not just being a basketball player. I just have to keep going and figure out what I've got do to come back at the highest level possible".

Despite the uncertain near future for Thomas, he aims to be the Tom Brady of the National Basketball Association, winning MVPs and playing for the rest of eternity. Yep, Lue owes him $100 and Brown plans to accept it at long last - perhaps even during the NBA Finals when they see each other. All them doctors know that.

Thomas says he told doctors that whatever happens, he needs to come back even better - "and I will". Working back to that point is not the challenge. So when my time comes, I know ...

"We'll go from there". So that's the thing that I've gotta trust in them about is just being patient and not rushing anything.

The King in the Fourth will be the King of the Rehab for now, eschewing his typical summer routine of hooping it up any time, any where. In a series full of megastars like Howe, Terry Sawchuk, Ted Lindsay and Red Kelly in Detroit and Richard, Jean Beliveau, Doug Harvey and Boom Boom Geoffrion in Montreal, it was an unsung player who became the hero. After the Game 4 loss and playoffs elimination, Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili said: "You can swing, swing, swing, and maybe you'll hit somebody, but it isn't fair".

  • Tabitha Byrd