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Isaiah Thomas: ‘I want to be the best little guy to ever play’

Dec 22, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT

Isaiah Thomas, Jameer Nelson

The Kings made the Rudy Gay trade to, well, get Rudy Gay.

But that wasn’t the only benefit of the the deal.

The trade, which shipped out starting point guard Greivis Vasquez, gave Isaiah Thomas a bigger role, and that’s a positive development for Sacramento. Thomas is averaging 18.8 points, 5.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game this season.

Five-foot-9 and a former last pick in the draft, Thomas is defying expectations with his strong production. Next, he wants to defy them even further.

Thomas, in a Q&A with Tracy Weissenberg of Slam:

SLAM: Sixtieth pick in the Draft to starting point guard. What do you want your legacy as a basketball player to be? How do you want people to remember you?

IT: I want to be the best little guy to ever play.

In the interview, Thomas said he’s gunning for Allen Iverson. But when I think of NBA little guys, I think of players shorter than six feet – in shoes, which is usually how they’re listed. Iverson measured six feet without shoes.

There have been plenty of excellent players under six feet, Calvin Murphy probably my choice for the best of all time. He’s the all-time win shares leader for such players.

Thomas, in just his third season, already ranks 26th, which is very impressive for such a young player.

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For Thomas to become the best little guy ever, he must first become the best little guy in the game. Right now, that’s 5-foot-11 Ty Lawson.

Though unlikely, it’s possible Thomas gets there. That he’s even in the conversation is a credit to him.

  1. biasedhomer - Dec 22, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    You must be the only one to not consider AI a little guy.

    • genericcommenter - Dec 22, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      Well, if you open it up to guys over 6′, even if you limit it to 6’1, then you are adding many players better than AI, and this IT would have no hope.

      • zoomy123 - Dec 23, 2013 at 1:21 AM

        Many players? Like who?

  2. stephenolszewski - Dec 22, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    This guys motor is crazy, I think him getting snubbed may have been the best thing for himself

  3. savvybynature - Dec 22, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    This lil dude is definitely one of my favorite players to watch in The Association. He has almost single-handedly turned me into a Kings fan! Well, him and a great fan base.

  4. nsstlfan - Dec 22, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    Spud Webb is still the greatest little guy

  5. edwardemanuelson - Dec 22, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Anyone remember Michael Adams ? Check his stats.

    • 00maltliquor - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:18 AM

      Michael Adams was dope. But no. Not best lil man.

  6. mrlaloosh - Dec 22, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    Muggsy Bogues.

    • 00maltliquor - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:19 AM

      Spud Webb.

  7. bjornreyes - Dec 22, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    And Zeke was like, “You took my name, now you wanna take my position as best little guy to ever play?”

  8. tcclark - Dec 22, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Allen Iverson is widely considered the best “little guy” ever to play the game. I’ve been a fan of Thomas’ but him trying to be better than AI is almost as ridiculous as you thinking AI isn’t litttle

  9. 00maltliquor - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    Ummmmm……ALLEN IVERSON anyone?? Listen, you aint gotta like him, but you DO have to respect him. And A.I. was prolly really 5″11.

    BTW, I wanna see a Nate Robinson response to this. Time to step it up a couple notches Nate cause IT has you as of right now.

  10. muhangis - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    I remember Michael Adams, I grew up in Virginia right close to D.C. and Adams was the local hero back then.

    He’s on a recent slump, but Isiaiah Thomas is maybe the most underrated player of the year so far in the ’13-’14 season, and there are alot of underrated players in the league. Equally as there are some highly overrated players!

  11. 00maltliquor - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    I’ll never forget SCREAMING at the TV during draft night for the Lakers to draft Isaiah but they wound up drafting some no name bum with a name I cant pronounce let alone remember with the , I think it was the 57th pick. Boo!

  12. abchome - Dec 23, 2013 at 5:31 AM

    Height isn’t the only criteria determining big/small, but AI is small by any definition.

  13. sdelmonte - Dec 23, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    I love how people taller than me are “little.” It’s all relative.

  14. dexterismyhero - Dec 23, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Nate “Tiny” Arichibold?

  15. spacemaker101 - Dec 23, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    You’re good but not that good Isaiah

  16. deeballer - Dec 23, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Uh, there is a guy they call “The Little General” name Avery Johnson that was pretty damn good.

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