Isaiah Thomas Receives Standing Ovation During Return To Boston

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The agonizing wait to play again is over for Isaiah Thomas.

Thomas assured everyone that wasn't his intention during a pregame interview at the Garden on Wednesday night, when he was resting his right hip after making his season debut the night before.

He can not wait for that day, not because he wants revenge against the team that traded him, but because he loves playing at TD Garden in front of his beloved Celtics Nation.

"I think Paul said it best: He's going to be the appetizer, the main course and the dessert". "It's been a frustrating and tough process, but at the same time you got to trust it". Now, I'm not saying Isaiah shouldn't get a tribute video. I haven't played in so long, so man it's going to be a weird feeling tomorrow, but I'm happy.

Coach Tyronn Lue said Thomas will come off the bench and initially will play limited minutes.

As much as he would've loved to have participated, he knew the timing just wasn't right.

"It won't be that tough", he said about sitting out the second meeting this season between the rivals. "I'm not sure I want to see an Isaiah video that night". "Come February 11th, you might have to wait until next year for a tribute video", Pierce said, half joking with a big smile on his face. I always wanted to play in this game, but I thought I'd be back a little sooner to be able to play. Instead he asked that Boston honor him during the next Cavs-Celtics game on February 11.

Thomas has slowly worked his way into game shape, scrimmaging first against the G-League Canton Charge and then with his teammates a few days ago. I just wanted my family to be here to see it. "I haven't been back since I had a dentist appointment here in August". I'm not taking nothing from Paul Pierce.

The Cavaliers are eager to incorporate Thomas, who averaged almost 29 points last season, into their offense. But Thomas isn't anxious about not fitting in.

"I don't know why they're so mad about it". I had a chance to watch Kobe's, and throughout the games, the timeouts, there was a lot of tribute videos for him, and I enjoyed to watch that throughout the game. They've given me the opportunity to be who I always wanted to be, and I can't thank them enough.