Isaiah Thomas carried a heavier workload for the Sacramento Kings last season, making the starting point guard job his own. Thomas started in 62 of his 79 appearances in 2012-13 and mostly looked like a player capable of being a solid starter. However, in the upcoming season the last pick of the 2011 NBA draft will face some tough competition.
This offseason the Kings lost Tyreke Evans but managed to land Greivis Vasquez, who had a breakout season last year. While most would assume that the starting point guard job will automatically belong to the 26-year-old out of Venezuela, Thomas certainly hopes that he can make his case. Thomas had the following to say to HOOPSWORLD.
“Hopefully the position will be up for competition,” Thomas told HOOPSWORLD in a phone interview. “If it is, I’m going to be battling each and every practice, each and every workout, whatever. At the end of the day, we are teammates – myself, Greivis Vasquez, Ray McCallum and Jimmer Fredette – we’re teammates, but at the same time we’re competing too. At the end of the day, this a competition and I am going for that starting spot because I do feel like I’m a starting point guard in this league. I think the competition is going to make each of us better and make sure we’re competing every day in practice. We’re going to work hard.”
“Whether I’m starting or coming off the bench, I can’t control that. I can only control me going out there and doing the best that I possibly can – giving it my all each and every night, each and every practice. I’m just going to be me. No matter what, whenever I step out onto that court, I’m going to be me and nobody’s going to take that from me.”
“When given the opportunity, I can turn some heads and be one of the top point guards in the NBA,” Thomas said. “That’s just the confidence that I have in myself and because of all the hard work I put in each and every morning, each and every night and everything else. I feel like I can have a breakout year, but with the NBA it’s all about opportunity. If given that opportunity, a lot of people can play at a high level. I’m going to keep working and hopefully show the world what I’m all about. … Once I got an opportunity, I just took it and ran with it. I put the work in, so I believe I have enough ability to be one of the best point guards in the NBA. I’m not saying it’s going to happen overnight, but with the work I’m putting in, I can compete at a high level each and every night when given the opportunity. I think my ceiling is to the sky.”
Both Vasquez and Thomas have their strengths and weaknesses, but you certainly can’t question Thomas’ determination.
Who do you think should be the starting point guard next season? Let us know in the comment section below.