The 2016-17 Boston Celtics season looks to be a fun one.
Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge was busy all offseason trying to make the Celtics one of the best teams in not just the Eastern Conference, but the entire NBA.
While Boston did miss out on Kevin Durant, they were able to land another coveted free agent star in Al Horford. Not only that, but the C's drafted Jaylen Brown, the forward out of California wise beyond his years and already able to contribue.
Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley also have another year under their belts and can provide the energy and lockdown defense that should make the Celtics one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. But despite all the additions and improvements the Celtics made, one thing has not changed - the Celtics will go as far as Isaiah Thomas takes them. And folks, that could be pretty far.
The rebuild is obviously over. The Celtics now have multiple stars on their squad, and that includes the superstar Thomas.
The C's point guard is now right up there with the rest of the NBA superstars, as online sportsbook Bovada has Thomas at +6600 to win the NBA MVP award, the 19th-best odds just behind players like Draymond Green and John Wall and ahead of players like LaMarcus Aldridge, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Love, and Gordon Hayward, all players linked to the C's at one point or another because they needed a "superstar."
Thomas is coming off a 22-point, six-assist per-game season, one in which saw him make the All-Star team and take his team to the playoffs (though they failed to advance out of the first round).
Thomas has been releasing a compilation of videos documenting his offseason, titled, "The Book of Isaiah." One video features him meeting his basketball idol, Allen Iverson. Thomas gushed over the meeting and the fact that Iverson signed his jersey to Thomas with a message - "To a real killa."
That stuck with the star-struck Thomas.
"Damn. I gotta be Allen Iverson, bro," Thomas said in the video. "You know what his career average is? He averaged 28 points a game for his whole career. That's not even real. I gotta get better bro. I gotta get better ... I averaged 22 [points] and six [assists]. That's not a good year. I gotta go for 25 [points]."
Iverson averaged 27.7 points per game from his rookie season in 1997 to 2008, a span of 829 games. He averaged 29.7 points per game in the playoffs. He was an MVP, an 11-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA First Team, and four-time NBA scoring champion. He is considered the best "little guy" to ever play in the NBA, standing at just 6-feet tall.
But one thing Iverson never won was an NBA championship, despite his best efforts in 2001.
Thomas’ goal of being the next Iverson is a lofty one. Maybe he won’t have the personal achievements Iverson had, but he’s got plenty of time – and now help – to do what Iverson couldn’t do: raise a championship banner.