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Isaiah Thomas’ first game with Lakers made him feel like a Celtic again – and that’s a good thing

By in Press Enterprise on February 13, 2018

By Bill Oram

EL SEGUNDO — As Isaiah Thomas was making a splash in his Lakers debut on Saturday, knocking down 3-point shots and trying to carry his new team to a win, he experienced something he had missed in the seven months he was sidelined by a hip injury and his brief, failed marriage with LeBron James in Cleveland.

Buckle up, Lakers fans: Thomas felt like a Celtic again.

“You see the bench every time I was shooting,” said Thomas, acquired in a deadline deal from Cleveland, “they were standing up cheering. That was the feeling I had in Boston where we were playing for each other and had happiness and joy for each other, and that is big.”

Thomas, a lifelong Lakers fan, completed his first practice with his new team on Monday, an occasion that coincided with Lonzo Ball’s first practice, albeit a limited one, in nearly a month.

At the conclusion of the practice, Thomas sported a black T-shirt with Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 stylized to read “LA,” a feature of the Bryant-designed “City Edition” jerseys the Lakers wore as recently as Thursday.

“I was brainwashed into being a Lakers fan as a young boy,” Thomas said, “and Kobe has been my favorite player so … it hasn’t hit me yet that I am a Laker but when I do look at gear in my locker and my jersey, it’s like, dang, I always dreamed of it and it is finally here.”

With just one game and one practice under his belt, Thomas has already been a pleasant surprise to Coach Luke Walton, who anticipated more of a learning curve as far as Thomas getting comfortable with where his new teammates like the ball and to come off screens.

“You can already see that he’s a natural point guard where if he’s coming off those type […]    

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