Isaiah Thomas was told he couldn’t play in the NBA. He was scoffed at when he declared he was headed to the NBA after his junior year playing for the Washington Huskies. He was ridiculed during the draft as name after name was called and Thomas’ was not.
Finally, the last pick in the NBA draft came and the odds didn’t look in Thomas’ favor for being drafted. In fact, the Sacramento Kings were on the clock and they had already drafted a point guard in the draft (Jimmer Fredette).
The chances were low that they would grab another one. However, they did, and this decision gave Thomas the title of “Mr. Irrelevant”. The title that goes to the last pick of the NBA (and NFL) draft.
Mr. Irrelevant is typically, or should I say, always irrelevant. This player often won’t make the squad for the team that drafted them. Often they are sent to the developmental league or cut all together after preseason training. They never win the Rookie of the Month award, much less win it twice. And it is essentially a ridiculous idea to even mention them in the discussion of Rookie of the Year.
Thomas did all of that. He made the team, he then won the starting job, he won the Oscar Robertson award, he won Rookie of the Month award twice during the season, and he was even in the discussion for Rookie of the Year.
Kyrie Irving has, reported by Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports, won the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Source says Kyrie Irving will win Rookie of the Year (no surprise there) with trophy handed out early next week. Best bet is Tuesday.
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) May 13, 2012
This came after many speculated that Thomas was in the running and some, including myself assume he even received a few votes.
If you look at a comparison of the stats between Irving and Thomas you can see why Thomas was right in the mix with the Rookie of the Year.[table “4” not found /]
In that table you can see why Kyrie won it over Thomas but how far has Thomas come from being Mr. Irrelevant to being a candidate for Rookie of the Year?
I think Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.com explains it better than I would. Kennedy examines how big of impact Thomas has made in Sacramento and in the NBA.
Isaiah Thomas doesn’t let expectations hold him back. He sets his own expectations and he is just getting started.