While former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant may not know the feeling of being traded from one NBA franchise to another, he still had some words for Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas. After Thomas was traded from the Boston Celtics, a team who he had remained incredibly loyal to, Bryant took to Instagram in order to issue a challenge to him.
Bryant mentioned the #mambamentality when challenging Thomas to make the All-NBA First Team next season. In short, it’s hard to imagine that this wasn’t Bryant’s way of telling the newest Cleveland Cavaliers point guard to go out and make the Celtics regret trading him.
The former Lakers star also issued multiple other challenges on Instagram as well, including ones to Toronto Raptors star DeMar DeRozan and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.
There’s no question that Thursday had to be a tough day for Thomas, as he’s been open about how much his team meant to him in Boston. Back in May, ESPN’s Chris Forsberg reported that Thomas made it known that he was more interested in the team signing free agents than giving him a contract extension this offseason.
“We need the best possible player that’s gonna help us win, and I’m with that,” Thomas said. “Anything Danny and this organization need me to do to help bring even more talent to this city, I’m all for that. I want to win a championship and being so close to getting to the Finals, that makes you want it that much more.
“I’m all help if they need it. I’ll be around.”
That wasn’t all he said, either. What Thomas followed that up with is something that really shows how much the city of Boston and his former team meant to him.
“Boston’s changed my career, changed my life. I would love to be here long term and win championships here,” Thomas said. “But, as you guys know, it’s a business and anything can happen. And I know that. So I understand that. But I’d love to be here. This has been everything to me.”
The NBA can be brutal sometimes, and Thomas found that out first hand when the Celtics made the deal which sent him, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets 2018 first-round pick for Kyrie Irving. It’s a safe bet that Thomas will be playing with an even bigger chip on his shoulder than he’s had in previous years, especially when the Cavaliers and Celtics meet in the regular season opener.