Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas has averaged 29 points a game — third in the NBA — this season while making Boston a semi-serious championship contender. Thomas has also been one of the league leaders in a less desirable category: technical fouls. Thomas is tied for fifth in the league with 16 technical fouls. Now, as the Celtics chase the Cavaliers, he’s making it clear that he’s committed to minimizing technicals going forward, and not just because that’s a super obvious strategic priority. Thomas’s big motivation? His two young sons, James and Jaiden, who often come to watch his games. In an interview with The Boston Globe, Thomas talked about realizing his dirty play might be influencing his boys while refereeing his kids’ basketball games at home.
“When I ref their games at home they yell at me,” Thomas explained. “I remember the other week they said, ‘Well, you yell at the refs.’ They’re watching everything. So I’ve definitely got to do better.”
Thomas is extremely close with James and Jaiden, and it’s only natural for them to look at their dad’s style of play and want to emulate it. But Thomas doesn’t want his young sons embracing dirty basketball. For that matter, he probably doesn’t want to inspire kids everywhere — as the game’s most dominate short player, he stands out — to sharpen their elbows.
Will Thomas follow through with his promise? Only time will tell, but props to him for working to set a more positive example for his kids.