Two-time NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas insisted he never doubted that he would return to the NBA following a hip surgery. Thomas, who played for the Washington Wizards during the 2019-2020 season, signed a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans this week.
"I was always going to get back no matter what," Thomas told reporters on Tuesday morning, per ESPN. "I think with me and the mindset, if you ever have doubt, you shouldn't be doing anything that you're doing.
"Obviously I'm human and some days it was hard to get up than others and continue to work without seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. But I have the utmost faith and the utmost confidence in myself. Things have never been easy for me, why would they start now?"
Thomas feeling 'great'
Thomas, who was an MVP candidate a few years ago, insists he is feeling absolutely great ahead of his return.
"I'm 102%. I'm more than good," Thomas said. "This is the best I ever felt since before I got injured. It's not even a question no more. Every day I wake up with a smile on my face because honestly I never thought I would feel this good again and feel back to normal.
Physically I'm ready. Mentally I'm ready. And I'm just happy to really be here." Thomas played two games in a FIBA qualifying event for Team USA in February. "The opportunity to play for team USA was everything.
Obviously wearing USA on your chest, but bigger picture, it was for everyone to see me moving and being myself again," Thomas said. "I accomplished what I set forth going out there to do. Four or five teams were calling after that very interested.
Luckily New Orleans pulled the trigger and I'm here. USA, those games were helpful for me and it gave me an opportunity to show I could still play at a high level and moving like myself and that everything is fine again."
Pelicans' top stars Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson each have missed the team's past three games. "It sucks for those guys to go down, but injuries are a part of the game. It's always next man up mentally," Thomas said.
"I'm in a situation where if they do give me some minutes, I'll take full advantage of it, and I'll be impactful on and off the floor."