By Austin Payne
Isaiah Thomas got into a verbal altercation with a Sixers fan Saturday night, and although they were roughly the same size, IT was clearly the bigger man in the situation.
Per reports, a 76er’s fan made some vulgar remarks directed towards Isaiah when he was at the free throw line, apparently incentivized by the opportunity to get a free Wendy’s Frosty is a Wizards player missed consecutive free throws.
As the quote from Fox News goes; “Late in the fourth quarter of the game at the Wells Fargo Center in Pennsylvania, Thomas walked to the stands and verbally approached a 76ers fan who had “both of his middle fingers up, and said, ‘F— you, b—-‘ three times.” You might expect that an NBA player, someone who clearly holds many personal accomplishments and undoubtedly a high amount of confidence, would have reacted in a high strung manner to such disrespect.
Despite this, IT showed commendable maturity and calmness throughout the situation, telling reporters that he said: “I say, ‘Don’t be disrespectful. I’m a man before anything and be a fan,’” the guard continued. “And his response was, ‘I’m sorry. I just wanted a Frosty’ because if you miss two free throws, I guess the fans get a Frosty.” Now let’s just think about this for a minute, how much does a Frosty cost…? This fan was sitting nearly court side, tickets that easily cost hundreds of dollars if they don’t hold a 4 digit price.
It’s obviously a bit unreasonable to go to this extent just to try and secure a cheap free dessert, but i believe the way that Isaiah handled it will go a long way in showing that fan a level of maturity that would be useful to him.
The Sixers fan in question was suspended from the arena for a year for the incident, which seems to be a reasonable punishment for simply being careless and excessively volatile. Isaiah Thomas will also be suspended for two games without pay, in accordance with league rules.
Let’s keep in mind that the Wizards are sitting at 8-20, sitting at 12th in the East, and IT is just finally getting back into playing shape with the opportunity that the Wizards have given him after two rough years on the bench after averaging nearly 30 in Boston. Despite all of those noteworthy struggles, IT managed to keep his calm demeanor and handle this situation with diplomacy.
If anything, this situation should simply remind us what a gem we have in Isaiah Thomas and how lucky we are to have been fans of this league when he was at his best. From his current team in Washington, being in a logjam at point guard in Phoenix, undervalued in Sac town, fill in in Cleveland and LA, a bench rider in Denver for a year, and most prominently, near MVP in Boston. He’s had an incredible story throughout not only his career but his life, and this moment only adds to it.