Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens responds to Isaiah Thomas’ article

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Hours after the heartfelt Players’ Tribune article written by Isaiah Thomas hit the web on Wednesday, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens had a message for his former star point guard.

“I was probably just like any nine-year-old fan or 11-year-old in my house reading (the article), or any fan of basketball,” Stevens told CSN New England. “What Isaiah did was special. Isaiah’s impact is special. I love Isaiah, and I’m glad that he’ll always have that here. He’ll always have impacted Boston in that way.

“Obviously that’s the really hard part about this, from a coach’s or player’s perspective, is within any change, there’s an emotional cost that’s attached. And that’s a pretty significant emotional cost. And I thought that he captured that really well. I look forward to seeing him, not on the court, not against him, because he’s a dynamite player, but I’m happy to have had a chance to work with him.”

Thomas, who was sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers along with forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and two draft picks in exchange for fellow All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, wrote in the article that the trade “hurt” because he “fell in love with Boston” during his 2 ½ years with the franchise.

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“I hope people can understand that when I say it hurt, it isn’t directed at anyone,” Thomas wrote. “I’m not saying I was hurt by anyone, or wronged by anyone, or betrayed. I’m just saying, man, I’m only human. I may act like a tough guy on the court. And I may seem like I have ice in my veins when I’m competing. But it ain’t ice, really. I got blood and I got a heart like everyone else.”

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ AJ Neuharth-Keusch on Twitter @tweetAJNK

PHOTOS: Isaiah Thomas through the years

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