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Friday pregame notes: Isaiah Thomas says ‘I want to play but they keep telling me no’

12.09.16 at 6:42 pm ET

In the wake of his epic 61-39 win in NBA2K17 over a group of four lucky kids Friday night, Isaiah Thomas appeared to be in a good mood. 

Then the conversation turned to his sore groin. 

“I’m not that good because I can’t play,” Thomas said. “It’s getting better. It hasn’t gotten worse and I’m just work as hard as I can to get back on the court.”

Thomas said he wasn’t sure about his status for the upcoming two-game swing through Oklahoma City (Sunday) and San Antonio (Wednesday). 

“I want to play but they keep telling me no,” Thomas said later in the locker room. “They keep wanting to be very patient with this because they don’t want to re-injure it. It’s an injury that can get re-injured and be a problem the rest of the season.

“So I don’t want that. And on top of that it gives me time to heal all the other injuries I have.”

Brad Stevens said before the game that Thomas’ injury, one suffered Monday night in Houston, was one that the team expects to sideline Thomas 7-10 days. Thomas is trying to be more optimistic.

“I’m going to take it day-by-day. Hopefully, I can play in the next few games and we’ll see what happens,” Thomas said. “Today, I feel a lot better than I have since I gotten the injury so we’ll see maybe in next couple of days. I’m shooting for Wednesday.”

“When I talked to Ed [Lacerte] [Friday] morning, over the last probably 24 to 48 hours, they’ve said it’s usually about 10 days to two weeks for an injury like this,” coach Brad Stevens said. “But again we’ve talked about Isaiah being pretty ambitious in his return. And he’s been getting treatment around the clock, so we’ll see. He’ll be officially listed as day to day.”

Stevens added that he’s not worried about Thomas pressuring team staff into playing him.   

“No, our medical staff is great,” Stevens added. “He trusts them. But obviously we have to make sure that – but also nobody knows his body better than him. But yeah, they feel like he’s not looking long term. It’s not going to be a long-term thing, for sure. We have to make sure we don’t bring him back tonight or too soon so that it doesn’t become one.”

As for the trip to the Midwest, Stevens said the team will wait and see. 

“To be determined from what I’ve been told,” Stevens said. “But we also have four days between games so he might join us in the middle. It just kind of depends on how he feels if he doesn’t come initially.”

The groin didn’t keep Thomas from laying a 61-39 beat down on the four kids who won the Shamrock Foundation raffle to play Thomas on the video board at the Garden before the game.

“That’s just how it is,” Thomas said. “I killed that kid. If it was the other way around, they wouldn’t show no mercy.

“It’s just about having fun, like I always said, putting a smile on other people’s faces and doing what’s right. It’s cool to play video games with kids. I wish I were in their shoes, being able to play video games with a professional athlete. It’s always fun. I do that at home with my kids.”

Thomas hinted that he has slightly different rules for NBA2K with his own kids at home.

“I’ve got to let my kids [win] because they start crying and getting mad,” Thomas said. “Some days, if I’ve got the wrong attitude, I won’t show them no mercy.”

Thomas chose the Mavs and was pumped up on several dunks, including one by Harrison Barnes. Why the Mavs?

“They’re a pretty good team on the video game,” Thomas said. The Mavs, ironically are an NBA-worst 4-17 this season. 

Why not the Celtics?

“It’s not realistic. I can’t even make layups in the game,” Thomas lamented. “I get my shot blocked too much. So I’m not going to go with the Celtics.” 

Thomas was genuinely frustrated with the video game depicting his game.

“Yeah, because I finish at the rim pretty good in real life,” the guard said. “And in the video game, every time I’m in the paint I get blocked. So until they change that I can’t be the Celtics.”

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