The 2017 NBA season has been the best for isaiah thomas as far as numbers and team success goes, but he's also experienced unfortunate tragedy during a crucial point in the season for the Boston Celtics. Below average in height for an NBA player, 5'9 Isaiah Thomas has used the disadvantages he's had in his career to lead the Boston Celtics to a 1st place seed in the eastern conference this season.

Thomas finished the season averaging 28.9 points per game, helping the Boston Celtics reach the playoffs for back to back seasons since he's arrived to the franchise. However, with the tragic death of his sister, Chyna, just before the start of the 2017 NBA playoffs, Isaiah has received guidance from NBA legend Kobe Bryant to help the Celtics push for an NBA title.

Value of Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is one of the best players to ever play the game of basketball. With enough rings to fill up at least one hand, Kobe's legacy is solidified in the history books. Like Thomas, Kobe's first couple of seasons in the NBA weren't so spectacular, but once he tapped into his potential, he became an instant superstar.

Bryant fought through many obstacles during his stellar NBA career. From having to share the leadership role on the Los Angeles Lakers with fellow superstar Shaquille O'Neil to alleviating an alleged rape case in 2004, Kobe has been through it all.

However, Kobe was still able to manage to be the face of the NBA at the height of his career by playing fantastic basketball and winning championships.

Kobe finished his NBA career winning five rings and one MVP award during the 2007-08 NBA season. So, to a young up and coming NBA star today, the mentoring and advice from someone like Kobe means a lot.

Isaiah Thomas deals with tragedy

With the death of his sister lingering in his head just as the 2017 NBA playoffs kicked off, little Isaiah Thomas did not get off to a good start.

The Boston Celtics lost the first two games of their best of seven series against the Chicago Bulls and basketball fans around the world began to write the 1st place Boston Celtics off. However, this was the perfect scenario for a guy that has been proven to play better with his back against the wall.

During that first round series against the Chicago Bulls, Isaiah Thomas who was seemingly affected by the death of his sister gained inspiration when NBA legend and future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant reached out to Thomas for mentoring.

How Kobe's words of wisdom helped

Down 2-0 in the series, Isaiah Thomas used phone conversations he had with Kobe to help assist him to lead the Celtics to four straight wins and advancing to the semi-conference round of the playoffs. Isaiah stated that Kobe went over Isaiah's game footage with him, showed him how he breaks down plays and discussed how Isaiah could use the same techniques to win games.

In the end, Kobe's advice paid off. Since then, Isaiah was able to set a Celtics playoff record posting 53 points in game 2 of the eastern conference semifinals against the Washington Wizards.

The Celtics are currently tied with the Wizards two games apiece with game 5 taking place in Boston tonight. Tune into TNT at 8 p.m. to see what kind of performance Isaiah Thomas puts on for the Boston Celtics in a much-needed win.

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