This was the latest twist in a tumultuous offseason that had questions swirling around the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After three straight trips to the NBA Finals and a championship for the ages in 2016, the Cavs suddenly appeared to be an organization in disarray.
At the center of it all was the Cavs’ newly minted general manager, Altman, a Brooklyn native who grew up blocks from where the Barclays Center now stands, with dreams of being an NBA general manager.
But Altman didn’t have the pedigree that most NBA GMs possess. He was a middle-of-the road three-year starter at point guard at Division III Middlebury College, and had a stint in corporate real estate out of school before getting back into basketball. Altman had only five years of front-office experience when he was suddenly catapulted to the top spot on the Cavs to run a roster that currently has several players — Jose Calderon, Kyle Korver and Dwyane Wade — older than he is.
And now that he had achieved his goal and the gig was his, all Altman had to do was make sure whatever decisions he made didn’t go wrong and potentially help push the greatest player in team history, and one of the greatest in the history of the sport, LeBron James, out the door when he can opt into free agency next summer.
Isaiah Thomas did not play in the Cavaliers’ first matchup against the Celtics in Boston. So when the Celtics had a video tribute prepared for him on Jan. 3, he requested they hold it until he was active and on the court.
Boston’s GM Danny Ainge confirmed on the Toucher and Rich show that the Celtics have indeed pushed Thomas’s tribute back to Feb. 11, the next and final time Cleveland will play at The TD Garden during the regular season.
There’s just one small problem: that’s the same night Celtics legend Paul Pierce will watch his jersey retire, and the truth is The Truth doesn’t want to see any IT4 highlights on his special day.
Isaiah Thomas is set to make his Cavaliers debut Tuesday night, after recovering from a hip injury. He will not play in the Cavs game the following night though, against the team that traded him, in Boston.
That’s why he’s requested the team not play his tribute video, according to the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy. On Twitter, Thomas explained that he wanted his family at the arena when the video plays.
The team will play the video sometime in the future, and that probably means Feb. 11, which is the only other regular season game the Cavs play in Boston.