Isaiah Thomas was a huge fan favorite in Boston and was committed to a Celtics organization where he'd become a household name. Regardless, the All-Star guard was sent packing to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving, proving that even supposed franchise players can be expendable.
The recent trade - and the subject of loyalty to the Celtics - hit home for former NBA sharpshooter Ray Allen, who continues to get ragged on for leaving Boston to join the enemy Miami Heat following the 2011-2012 campaign.
Allen shared and commented on an Instagram post from Caron Butler on Thursday, with Butler questioning why players should show loyalty to a franchise when that same courtesy isn't extended from the other side of the table. To strengthen his point, Butler brought up the fact that Thomas - who liked the post - competed in the playoffs for Boston just one day after his sister was killed in a car accident, yet was still shown the door in the offseason:
Meanwhile, Allen noted that when a team trades its talent, it's considered "just a business," yet when a player has the right to walk and elects to do so, it's often viewed as a slap in the face to fans, the organization, and the city.
"I expect every Celtic fan to be pissed off at the organization because they showed that they were disloyal to Isaiah," Allen wrote in the comments. "They traded him (Thomas) to your rival!!!!! (Cavaliers) The team you guys played in the conference finals. Oh wait, now it's just business!!!"
Allen's decision to head to South Beach to compete for titles even soured his friendship with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who remain bitter toward their former Big 3 teammate as a result of his choice.