Skip to content

Isaiah Thomas lets slip that ‘it sucks’ to be a Lakers fan on the Kings

Mar 12, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Here’s a secret: Before NBA players were NBA players, they were NBA fans. Some had favorite teams, and others cheered for particular players. But they all enjoyed professional basketball as outsiders in some form.

Sacramento Kings guard Isaiah Thomas‘ dad is famously a Lakers fan – naming his son Isaiah because he lost a bet on the 1989 NBA Finals, when Isiah Thomas’ Pistons beat the Lakers.

And the Kings had a real rivalry with the Lakers while Thomas was growing up. The Lakers eliminated Sacramento from the playoffs in 2000, 2001 and 2002 – three of the series going the maximum length, including the 2002 conference finals.

If you’re unsure where Thomas’ allegiances fell, wonder no more.

Thomas, in a Q&A with James Herbert of SB Nation:

Everybody knows your dad was a Laker fan, but you were in Seattle. How did that work? Were you a Laker fan?

I was a little brainwashed. My dad’s from LA, so growing up in his house, I was a Laker fan. But I loved the Sonics, I loved Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp. The Glove and the Reign Man, those were my two favorite players. But growing up, like I said, I was in a Laker household and got brainwashed. My favorite player is Kobe Bryant. I like the Lakers.

It sucks. I mean, it doesn’t suck I got drafted by the Kings, but that’s their biggest rival, so you gotta watch what you say about the Lakers around Sacramento.

Thomas is very clearly saying that one of his reactions to joining the Kings was feeling conflicted as a Lakers fan. If you watch him play, he clearly had other reactions, too – including being overjoyed to reach the NBA.

He’s a full person, allowed to have a complex – and even conflicting – range of emotions. There’s no reason to doubt whether he’s handling his conflict of interest appropriately.

Thomas plays really hard for Sacramento, and the Kings are definitely getting their money’s worth. He can like the Lakers and Kobe Bryant while still delivering for his current team, and that doesn’t change even when the the Lakers are the opponent.

In his last game against the Lakers, Thomas had 26 points and eight assists — and two blocks, a career high for the 5-foot-9 point guard.

Latest Posts
  1. Stephen Curry says he, Klay Thompson would be best NBA Jam duo in NBA

    Aug 20, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

    Best NBA Jam duo on a current team? Give me Durant and Westbrook.

  2. Lakers top 10 plays of the 2013-14 season (VIDEO)

    Aug 19, 2014, 10:29 PM EDT

    New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

    Highlights only serve as a reminder of just how bad things were in Los Angeles.

  3. Matt Bonner goes new car shopping, chooses Chevy

    Aug 19, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    Matt Bonner

    Bonner now drives a 2014 Chevy Impala.

  4. It’s official, after 39 seasons NBA referee Dick Bavetta retires

    Aug 19, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

    Dick Bavetta AP

    He’s 74, seems like a good time to hang it up.

  5. Steve Ballmer says even at $2 billion Clippers “perfectly decent investment”

    Aug 19, 2014, 1:10 PM EDT

    Steve Ballmer Steve Ballmer

    Ballmer sounded a little raspy and hoarse while on the Dan Patrick show Tuesday. Wonder why?

  6. Team USA cutdown could come Thursday, likely a few days later

    Aug 19, 2014, 12:43 PM EDT

    Brazil v United States Getty Images

    From the outside looking in, it seems three spots will be divided between Mason Plumlee, Andre Drummond, Chandler Parsons, Gordon Hayward and Kyle Korver.

  7. Brooklyn GM: No plan to put minutes restriction Brook Lopez

    Aug 19, 2014, 12:24 PM EDT

    Denver Nuggets v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

    They need him healthy this season, same with Deron Williams.

  8. Even high school Kobe was a fourth-quarter bad a** (VIDEO)

    Aug 19, 2014, 11:17 AM EDT

    kobe_bryant_highschool_photo

    The myth of Kobe Bryant continues to grow.

Featured video

Will LeBron get booed Christmas Day in Miami?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2769)
  2. P. George (2631)
  3. L. James (2537)
  4. D. Cousins (2522)
  5. R. Allen (2114)
  1. S. Marion (2105)
  2. K. Bryant (2094)
  3. C. Anthony (1958)
  4. A. Davis (1950)
  5. S. Curry (1840)