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February 17, 2017

Isaiah Thomas

New Orleans, Louisiana

Q. Can you talk about what makes DeMarcus Cousins one of the best bigs in the league?
ISAIAH THOMAS: Because he can do everything a guard can, and he's 6'11". He has the full package. I mean, he's a big body. He's unguardable.

Q. You know, you played with him for a while. He has a bad rap on the court. What is he like off the court?
ISAIAH THOMAS: A guy that jokes around a lot. A good friend. If the media got to be with him off the court, they wouldn't bash him about what he does on the court. He's a great guy.

Q. Does this year feel different than last year for you?
ISAIAH THOMAS: Yeah. I'm more comfortable. I know what to expect. I'm just happy to be here. So it's a great moment for me to enjoy this weekend.

Q. Last year you made the All-Star team. This year you're almost a star (inaudible)?
ISAIAH THOMAS: Yeah, and next year maybe I'll get that starting position. Each and every year I want to continue to get better. It was a big leap for me from last year to this year.

Q. Do you think coaches and fans and players still don't understand how good you are because of where you were drafted?
ISAIAH THOMAS: I think so. I think some people still doubt. Some people still don't give me my just due and my respect. All I say is I'm going to keep going. I got more to show. I feel like I can continue to get better. It's only the beginning.

Q. What evidence do you have that people don't really understand quite how good you are?
ISAIAH THOMAS: They've always got something to say. At the end of the day, it always comes back to my height. If I was 6'1", they would probably call me the best player in the world, and I'm not 6'1". It's always something. It's been like that my whole life. So I'm not surprised.

Q. If you were 6'1", do you think you would be quite a bit better than you are at 5'9"?
ISAIAH THOMAS: Yeah, I'm 5'9", man. I don't know. I've never been 6'1", so I couldn't tell you.

Q. If you ever get to a point where no one disrespects you, will you make something up?
ISAIAH THOMAS: People ask me that, and they think the chip will fall if everybody were to love me, but it wouldn't. I'm built a little different. I find things to motivate me, and if it were to be the other way around, I would find something else that will motivate me to hopefully one day become great.

Q. The nickname of the King of the Fourth in China, probably something similar to here as well. Do you like it? What's your favorite nickname?
ISAIAH THOMAS: That's a cool nickname.

Q. Do you like it?
ISAIAH THOMAS: It's really nice. It says that people are taking notice in the fourth quarter of what I'm doing and what my team is doing. It's pretty cool.

Q. Two questions. The first question is what kind of motivation would you give to the small players out there just like playing in leagues with a bunch of big players around to achieve to your level? And the second question is like what does it feel like when you see the locals, like locals in your own shoes out there, and you're playing in your own shoes instead of someone else's?
ISAIAH THOMAS: I would tell kids just have faith in yourself, work hard and have fun. That's all the things I've done with a little bit of luck on my side. If you believe in yourself, it can take you a long way.

Then the shoe thing is just, I mean, everything is falling into place. Hopefully, one day I can have my own shoe and be like them other superstars.

Q. When Danny Ainge told you when you got to Boston that you'd be one of the greatest Celtics ever, what did you think?
ISAIAH THOMAS: I thought he was lying. I thought he was just trying to make me feel better about the trade coming from Phoenix to Boston. But he saw something that I didn't even see, and now I'm starting to see it. I'm not saying I'm one of the best ever to put on a Celtics uniform, but I want to be in that direction.

Q. Isaiah, tell us what it's like to compete with LeBron James and the Cavs, and tell us what advantage you and the Celtics have against them.
ISAIAH THOMAS: I mean, it's great to compete against such a great team, but we just got to keep going. They're the defending champs for a reason. And one thing about us, we continue to work hard, and we don't back down from any team there is in this league.

Q. What did Danny see in you that you didn't even see in yourself?
ISAIAH THOMAS: I mean, what he saw is what I always knew. I just didn't think about the Celtics' legend thing. When you think about the Celtics, they have so many great players, you're not even thinking about being on that level. But the things he envisioned for myself, I always believed in myself if given the opportunity. I just didn't know how much opportunity I would have when I came to the Celtics.

Q. When all is said and done, what's your goal in your career, your individual goal?
ISAIAH THOMAS: It was last year to be the greatest little guy to ever play the game. Now things moving like they are, I want to be the greatest player to ever play. I know I've got a long way to go. I'm not even close, but you've got to shoot high.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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