Playing with a heavy heart. Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas broke down in tears before an NBA Playoffs game on Sunday, April 16, just one day after the sudden death of his sister, Chyna Thomas.
Before the Celtics faced off against the Chicago Bulls, Isaiah was seen sitting on the sidelines with his teammate Avery Bradley. Isaiah, 28, was hunched over in his seat and appeared to be crying while Bradley, 26, rubbed his pal’s back and consoled him.
Then, right before tip-off, Isaiah led his team out onto the court at Boston’s TD Garden. He was spotted wearing sneakers with the inscriptions “R.I.P. Lil Sis” and “I Love You Chyna.” Soon after, the arena’s Jumbotron lit up with a message honoring Isaiah’ late sister: “In memory of Chyna Thomas.”
Throughout the first quarter of Sunday night’s game, fans could be heard chanting “MVP” in support of the point guard, who visibly struggled to keep his composure.
The game came just one day after Isaiah was informed that Chyna was killed in a one-car accident in Federal Way, Washington, in the early hours of Saturday, April 15. Police told ESPN that Chyna’s car drifted onto the left shoulder of the Interstate 5 highway and hit a large metal pole. She was reportedly not wearing her seatbelt. Chyna was 22 years old.
Isaiah was practicing with his team on Saturday afternoon when he received the news. The Celtics honored Chyna in a statement, saying, “We are terribly saddened by the tragic loss of Chyna Thomas. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Celtics organization are with Isaiah and his family.”
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