Everyone knows the story of Jeremy Lin: after going undrafted out of Harvard, the point guard bounced around the NBA with the Warriors and Rockets before breaking out with the Knicks. While the young star has already hit some big shots in his career, there are a few concerns, most notably his high turnover rate. The amount of media attention he has received is unparalleled by anyone.
Enter Isaiah Thomas, Mr. Irrelevant -- the name given to the final player drafted each year -- from the 2011 NBA Draft.
After a stellar career with the Washington Huskies, the undersized point guard was overlooked by just about every team in the league. Some scouts said he was too small to be anything more than a bench player for a few years, others said he didn't play much defense and his college game would not translate to the NBA.
Now, a starter on the Sacramento Kings after beginning the year buried on the bench, Thomas is thriving, but no one is paying attention.
Let's do a bit of comparison in their last five games, which spans back until February 16.
Player A: 18.8 PPG, 6.9 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 turnovers
Player B: 20.0 PPG, 8.0 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 6.2 turnovers
By stats alone, which player has been more impressive in his last five starts?
Player A is Isaiah Thomas, Player B is Jeremy Lin.
I'm not saying Thomas is the better player nor am I saying he will be down the road, but where is the love for this kid? SportsCenter and other nightly highlights shows basically dedicated half of their airtime to "Linsanity" over the course of the last few weeks; could Isaiah Thomas at least get a mention or two?
He plays his heart out every single night, runs the Sacramento offense and is quickly becoming a fan-favorite. He has the story of being Mr. Irrelevant, was named after former-All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas when his dad lost a bet during the playoffs, and is smaller than 99% of the other players in the NBA. He's also pretty good at this basketball thing.
What isn't there to like?
Oh, wait, he plays on the west coast in Sacramento and not in New York. Never mind.
For more on the Kings and Isaiah Thomas, head on over to Sactown Royalty.