Marcus Smart details bond with Isaiah Thomas after ex-Celtic’s surprise cameo

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Smart shows Isaiah Thomas love after ex-Celtic’s surprise cameo originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Isaiah Thomas made quite the impact during his two-and-a-half seasons in Boston — especially on young guard Marcus Smart.

Smart was a rookie when Thomas joined the Celtics via trade in February 2015, and the two guards helped develop Boston’s identity as a scrappy underdog that battled to the Eastern Conference finals in 2017.

While Thomas left the C’s after that 2016-17 season, the veteran guard returned to Boston on Thursday night to make a surprise appearance at Smart’s “Bowling Bash” charity event.

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Smart seemed genuinely taken aback to see his former teammate and admitted Friday how much it meant to him that Thomas showed up.

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“It means a lot,” Smart told reporters. “Me and I.T. have been here, battling for the years we did. With me and him, it’s always been more than what’s on the court. I look at I.T. as a brother, just keeping up with him after all those years and staying in touch.

“It felt good to see him here because I had no idea that he was even coming. So, the fact that he took time to show up here means a lot.”

Smart has voiced public support for Thomas several times since I.T.’s Boston exit, and even advocated for the Celtics to bring back the popular point guard. While a Thomas-Celtics reunion wasn’t in the cards, the 33-year-old clearly has plenty of love for the city where he became an NBA star.

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(Warning: NSFW language.)

In many ways, Thomas helped pave the way for the current core of Smart, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to have success in Boston by establishing the Celtics as a legitimate contender well before many expected. In the process, he gained a lifelong friend in Smart, who is now thriving in Thomas’ former role as Boston’s floor general.

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