The Rise of The King in the Fourth


Cooper Rice, Sports Reporter


When we think about professional basketball players we often think of them as these giants that tower over normal people, with the average height of an NBA player being 6’6. But in 2016 Isaiah Thomas standing at just 5’9 became a phenom of the NBA and carried the Boston Celtics to the first seed in the Eastern Conference.

According to Farmington High School senior Ethan Rivera, “The NBA had kind of set a height standard, where it seemed like you had to be massive to make it to the league. Isaiah was able to make a dent in that stigma with his ability to play.

Isaiah Thomas has always been the underdog, being the shortest player on pretty much every basketball court he stepped on, people immediately doubt his ability to play. But Isaiah’s competitive drive and work ethic proved them wrong every time. In middle school he would take the city bus to basketball courts to play against grown men to help improve his game. At 13 years old he was playing better than his fathers friends even though he was a foot shorter than them. But even Isaiah began to doubt himself as he was laughed at by AAU opponents each time he got on the court, and he thought that if he didn’t grow there was no chance he could ever make it to the NBA. He would hang by a pull up bar trying to add even an inch to his height, but eventually Isaiah gave up trying to grow and focused on improving every aspect of his game. 

Isaiah blossomed into a Washington high school legend averaging 31.2 points per game in his junior year. His popularity helped him befriend NBA players Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford, who helped mentor him. Isaiah decided to play basketball at the University of Washington close to his family. In his freshman year Isaiah again proved doubters who believed that he was too small to play at a collegiate level wrong, becoming the Pac 10 Freshman of the Year. Isaiah’s work ethic helped put a fire under his other teammates as they began to compete at a higher level than they had in years. Isaiah played for the Huskies for 3 years averaging 16.8, and winning 3 Pac-10 championships points while there before declaring for the 2011 NBA Draft.

Going into the draft there was much skepticism about Isaiah’s ability to play at the next level, as people continued to doubt him. He was taken with the last pick in the draft by the Sacramento Kings. Thomas proved people wrong again, beating out Jimmer Fredette for the starting point guard position. After four seasons in the NBA Isaiah landed himself on a young Boston Celtics team where he would prove himself as a legitimate NBA star. He became an All- Star and took the Boston Celtics to the Eastern conference finals. He was recognized as one of the most clutch players in basketball earning himself the nickname by fans “The King in the Fourth.”  Unfortunately the Boston Celtics traded away Isaiah and he was never quite the same player again. But in Isaiah Thomas’ career he was able to prove every doubter wrong and show that despite how tall he was, he could still be better than everyone else on the court.