Boston honors Chyna Thomas ahead of Game 1 and then showers Isaiah with MVP chants pic.twitter.com/lC2dC7ySg7
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 16, 2017
Isaiah Thomas is playing with a heavy heart Sunday.
The Celtics point guard continued to cope with the sudden death of his 22-year-old sister, Chyna, while trying to play against the Chicago Bulls in a playoff series-opener at TD Bank Garden.
Prior to the game, Thomas was seen on the sidelines in tears while teammate Avery Bradley consoled him, but the Boston fans also know how to pick up their guy, too.
In the first quarter as Thomas went to the free throw line, chants of “M-V-P” began echoing throughout the arena from the Boston faithful in a tearjerking moment.
Thomas missed the first free throw then hit the second as he tried to keep his composure.
Before tip-off, Thomas also led the Celtics out onto the court and was sporting shoes with the inscription “RIP Lil Sis.”
The Celtics also held a moment of silence for her while the Jumbotron read, “In memory of Chyna Thomas.”
The game was being played just a little over 24 hours after Thomas learned his sister was killed in a one-car accident following the Celtics practice on Saturday afternoon.
Chyna reportedly was driving on I-5 in Washington state around 5 a.m. when her car drifted into a barrier and landed on a metal pole.
Authorities believe she may have fallen asleep at the wheel.
Thomas has received plenty of support and condolences around the league, including NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and plenty of other players via Twitter.
Many were unsure if Thomas would suit up for the Celtics’ game. Head coach Brad Stevens said that while Thomas was emotional before the game it was ultimately the point guard’s decision on whether or not he would play.
The 28-year-old decided to go through with it, scoring 13 points in the first quarter.