In a 136-point scoring performance against the Lakers on Monday, Isaiah Thomas made a statement to the NBA that he’s a player that deserves some serious minutes on a nightly basis. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. What exactly was the point?

This past week, Isaiah Thomas became the first player in NBA history to score 81 points in a game. It wasn’t even his best performance of the season, as he followed that up with a 74 point outburst against the Magic. Thomas made history because he achieved something very few players have ever done: scored at least 30 points in each of their team’s first nine games of the season. But he wasn’t just scoring points, he was doing it in a way that was astonishing for a player of his stature.

It’s been a long journey for Isaiah Thomas, the latest in a line of talented ball players that were seemingly destined to change the NBA. Isaiah was always in the gym, running miles and miles through miles, always working on his craft. But, nothing panned out: Young Isaiah showed flashes of brilliance, but the longer he played in the league, the more he seemed to get left behind.

Isaiah Thomas has struggled to find a home in the NBA in recent seasons and is now a free agent. After a crazy 81-point game in a recent Pro-Am, which also served as a tribute to Kobe Bryant, he is putting league bosses on notice.

Thomas rose to prominence in the NBA as an undersized player with the Boston Celtics. Things haven’t been the same for Thomas since he was moved to the Cleveland Cavaliers before the 2017-18 season, with injuries and a different style of play obstructing his progress. His latest scoring heroics, on the other hand, convey a strong message to NBA officials that he is still capable of playing at the top level.

In a pro-am appearance, Isaiah Thomas scores 81 points and pays tribute to Kobe Bryant.

Thomas has remained in the gym in the hopes of landing another NBA job, and he’s putting up some ridiculous statistics in the process.

On Sunday, the 32-year-old competed in the Crawsover Pro-Am in Seattle. Thomas scored a game-high 81 points, matching his hero Kobe Bryant’s single-game total from 2006. He had tweeted about Bryant only two days before his amazing performance, which was interesting.

Thomas, who had been feeling it all day and hearing it from the Seattle audience, provided some significant foreshadowing.

As the two-time NBA All-Star hammered step-back shots and broke out ankle-breaking crossovers, the crowd erupted in applause. Thomas put on a performance for the audience, and the audience applauded him with a standing ovation.

This was, after all, a Pro-Am. In almost every circuit, Thomas, on the other hand, is crushing past pros and paid ballers. In his Drew League debut, the tiny guard unloaded in 37 points. In the Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League, he also scored 65 points.

At the very least, Thomas has shown that he can still put the ball in the basket. His successful summer performance may be the springboard for his future NBA employment.

Following Thomas’ famous performance, a number of NBA players made messages of support for him.

Thomas will “100%” be on an NBA team for the 2021-22 season, according to fellow Washington state native Jason Terry, despite the fact that he is still a free agent. Thomas’ 81-point performance will be talked about for “decades,” according to Jamal Crawford.

As he attempts to return to the Association, Thomas is sure to appreciate the support of his colleagues. But, in fact, support is meaningless if he is unable to get a contract.

IT was signed to a 10-day deal by the New Orleans Pelicans in April, but he failed to make the most of his chance. In three games, Thomas shot 33.3 percent from the field and had 4.5 turnovers per 36 minutes. He was not offered a second 10-day contract by the Pels.

Despite his April difficulties, Thomas seems to be turning the corner. He obviously still wants to play. He has a place in the NBA, according to current and former NBA players. Will the same be true for general managers?

There are several disadvantages to IT’s style of play.

Current NBA free agent Isaiah Thomas drives to the basket during a game with the New Orleans Pelicans in April

Current NBA free agent Isaiah Thomas drives to the basket during a game with the New Orleans Pelicans in April Because of his score-first attitude and weak defense, some general managers may be reluctant to sign Thomas | Elsa/Getty Images

Thomas, as previously said, knows how to score the ball. He does, however, fail to have an effect on the game in other areas.

Thomas has a history of being one of the league’s worst defenders. According to NBA.com, while a member of the Washington Wizards during the 2019-20 season, he placed dead last in defensive rating. He can’t make much of an impact on the boards because of his size.

Furthermore, although Thomas can dish out some assists, he is more of a score-first guard. Are there many (or any) clubs ready to take a risk on a player who isn’t as big as he once was and doesn’t have the same explosiveness?

Perhaps Thomas can offer scoring off the bench for a club in need of backcourt depth. It’s difficult to dismiss his summer performances.

However, roster slots for remaining NBA free agents may be few, and Isaiah Thomas’ return to the league may be lengthy and unclear.

Unless otherwise stated, all stats are courtesy of Basketball Reference.

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