Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas has had an unfathomably difficult few weeks. Fifteen days ago, his younger sister, Chyna, died in a car crash. Thomas, meanwhile, has had to carry on with his job. Sport is one of the few professions that doesn’t really allow employees time to grieve. Basketball doesn’t stop.
So a teary-eyed Thomas played in Game 1 the day after Chyna’s death, and has continued to play since. In between the decisive Game 6 of the Celtics’ Round 1 series and their Round 2 opener, he flew home to Washington for Chyna’s funeral.
At the funeral, he delivered an emotional eulogy, part of which was captured by KING 5 News in Tacoma. “When I found out the news, I wanted to give up and quit,” Thomas said. “And never in my life have I ever thought about quitting.”
Video of Thomas’ speech, plus other footage from the funeral, can be found here.
“I realized quitting isn’t an option,” Thomas continued. “That’s the easy way out. I will keep going for my sister, as I know she wouldn’t want me to stop. I love you Chyna and I miss you so much. And everything I do for the rest of my life will be for you. I love you girl.”
Thomas then flew back to Boston, and arrived at 4 a.m. on Sunday morning, nine hours before tipoff. He put in a remarkable performance — 33 points and nine assists — in a Celtics win.