Sacramento Kings guard Isaiah Thomas is well known by Lakers fans as the tiny guard who kills the Lakers every time they play. In their last game, Thomas dropped 26 points, eight assists, and two blocks against the Lakers.
Many may not know that Thomas grew up as a Lakers fan, because his father was a huge fan. So big, in fact, that Thomas got his name from his dad losing a bet when the Detroit Pistons beat the Lakers in the 1989 Finals.
When Thomas was growing up, the Lakers and Kings were obviously fierce rivals. When he was drafted by them, there were some mixed emotions as he told James Herbert of SB Nation:
But growing up, like I said, I was in a Laker household and got brainwashed. My favorite player is Kobe Bryant. I like the Lakers […] It sucks. I mean, it doesn’t suck I got drafted by the Kings, but that’s their biggest rival, so you gotta watch what you say about the Lakers around Sacramento.
Being the last pick of the 2011 Draft, Thomas was happy just to hear his name called, but it has to be weird to be drafted to your favorite team’s rival.
The Lakers eliminated the Kings from the playoffs in three consecutive years, including the famous 2002 Western Conference Finals. In between there were a number of contentious moments such as the Rick Fox-Doug Christie fight during a preseason game.
Thomas knows he has to be careful when talking about the Lakers in Sacramento, and it’s obvious why. But he can at least take it easy on the Lakers when he plays them sometimes.
Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure 2014 With Lakers Jordan Hill