Thomas was given the chance to play against the Celtics Monday night, during which he went scoreless in seven minutes.
Thomas, 30, has been very outspoken about the infamous trade that sent the former All-Star from the Boston Celtics to the Cavaliers in 2017. He revealed to reporters that he planned on wearing those kicks in the NBA Finals his previous year in Boston but eventually loss to the Cavaliers led by one LeBron James.
Thomas wore a pair of green and gold shoes that, he said, were prepared for the 2017 NBA Finals had Boston gotten that far. Once the video was done, fans began an ovation that lasted well over a minute and left Thomas - who was shown on the Jumbotron multiple times - clearly moved. He didn't play in the second half. "I know I can play at a high level".
Thomas is on a one-year deal with the Denver Nuggets.
But if there wasn't a broader and more pointed meaning to the fans' salute to Thomas, well, there should have been.
Gunman opens fire on Dutch tram, several hurt
Police spokesman Joost Lanshage said: 'Several shots were fired in a tram and several people were injured. Think your friends would be interested? There was no immediate confirmation on that from Dutch police.
Now, if Irving leaves, the Celtics do not suddenly gain the cap space needed to replace him with a Kemba Walker or another free agent jewel, meaning that barring another big trade, it would be a series of internal promotions or starter-by-committee at the No. 1.
"This city is one of a kind and I've said it since I've been here", Thomas stated. "Whatever the role may be, it's going to be". And if given the opportunity I can be an All-Star, I can be All-NBA, I can be all that, because I physically feel great.
"I got my college jersey retired". "The best coach I've ever been coached by". He had just battled through an injured hip and the death of his sister to lead Boston to the Eastern Conference finals before he was shut down because of the injury. "That's my night. If you don't like it, then oh well".
The sad truth is there probably would be little use for him in Boston, too.
"It always felt like those things should happen because I worked for those things", he said. "I think if that business decision went down and I was healthy, I would've been fine with it because I would've been able to hoop right away". But I don't hold any grudges. "And I'm just happy to be back and around familiar faces and to really get that genuine, real love". I'm through it. Things happen.