Many NBA players model their game after a player they grew up watching and cheering for. Normally, it’s someone who plays the same position so they can copy their moves and learn their skills. Well, the player whom Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas models his game after might have you scratching your head.
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Thomas is a 5-foot-9 guard who can score in many ways, but if you’re thinking his player model is another guard, you’d be wrong. The one-time All-Star models his game after future Hall-of-Famer Kevin Garnett. That’s right, a 6-foot-11 power forward.
So how can Thomas, who is completely different in size and skill, model his game after Garnett?
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During his new “Area 21” segment on NBA on TNT, KG recently praised Thomas, saying he plays with a lot of heart.
What did Thomas have to say about it? He told ESPN: “I’m the 5-9 Kevin Garnett. That’s who I want to be. [Garnett’s praise] means a lot. For a guy I looked up to, who I knew I would be nothing like him [in size], but just the way he prepared himself, the way he didn’t back down from anybody, and how he was so locked in. It was amazing to see that up close. For him to say that about me, that says a lot.”
Thomas continued: “Even guys around here, like our strength coach Bryan Doo, he always says, ‘You would have loved KG and he would have loved you. He doesn’t like a lot of guys, but he would have loved you.’ And I wish I got to play with a guy like him.”
With players, it’s not just about skills. It’s also about passion and preparation. So far this year, Thomas has prepared well for his games. He is averaging 26.2 points, 6.8 assists and 1.3 steals.