At least one Boston Celtic is disappointed to skip visiting Sacramento this season.
Guard Isaiah Thomas always looks forward to playing the Kings since leaving Sacramento via a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns. He was traded to the Celtics in February.
Thursday’s game against the Celtics at Mexico City Arena was a home game for the Kings.
“I definitely wanted to go back to Sac,” Thomas said. “It’s always a home for me and always a special place in my heart. When the schedule came out, I was looking for that Sac game and then it was in Mexico, so I was like, I won’t be able to go back to Sac.”
If and when he returns to Sacramento, it will be at the new Golden 1 Center, not the Sleep Train Arena he used to call home, barring a postseason meeting.
Thomas is having a good season for the Celtics, averaging 20.8 points and 6.2 assists entering Thursday. Thomas said he’s “moved on” and has “no hard feelings” toward the Kings after the team made no effort to re-sign him and dealt him in 2014 for a trade exception and the rights to an overseas player.
Thomas keeps tabs on the Kings, though most of the roster is different from the one he played on in the 2013-14 season.
Only four players on the current roster played with Thomas.
When asked about DeMarcus Cousins, Thomas said: “He’s the best big man in the world, by far.”
Thomas also has noticed Cousins’ expanded role in the offense.
“It was funny because we were texting the other week and he said something about a move that I made, and I said, ‘Man they’re just having you do everything, shooting threes,’ ” Thomas said.
Thomas said Cousins replied with a familiar sense of humor.
“He said, ‘Yeah I’m the new shooting guard; I’ve got to expand my game,’ ” Thomas said. “He’s always had it; he’s worked on it. Now I guess he just has the confidence to shoot it in the games.”
More on the threes – Cousins has made 17 three-pointers in 11 games entering Thursday after making just 11 in his first five seasons. Cousins has attempted 50 three-point shots, well above his season high of 22 in 2012-13. He’d only attempted 69 threes before this season.
More adjusting – Kings coach George Karl would like to string together more than a couple of games with a healthy team. He’ll have to wait, as Omri Casspi missed Thursday’s game with a stomach illness.