Isaiah Thomas had doubters during his college career at Washington, and such is life for a 5-foot-9 player who always exuded such confidence. When he struggled with his shot, he worked to get better. When he was forced into action as a point guard, he carried the Huskies.
So after leaving school early only to be drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the last pick of the second round, Thomas said the chip already on his shoulder has grown.
"Yes. You know it will," he said in a statement Thursday. "I will be in the gym tomorrow. While I'm disappointed that some of the players got chosen ahead of me, at the same time, everything happens for a reason. I'm just ready to get after it and show the other 29 teams that they made a mistake."
Thomas was the last of the six players from the Pac-10 to be drafted and was selected 25 picks after the Kings went with UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt. It was a surprise when he declared for the draft, and now he should feel fortunate to get picked.
"I'm excited for him that he got drafted," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said in a statement. "With there only being two rounds and 60 players chosen, I'm glad that he was one of them. I know he would have liked to have gotten drafter higher, but he is a part of this draft. So, I'm happy for him."
"He already has kind of a permanent chip on his shoulder and I'm sure the chip just got bigger."
Thomas said he was alone during the draft, and didn't spend much time watching it, only occasionally taking a peek at the television. He eventually went home to his Seattle apartment to be with family members and got the call from his agent soon afterward and was able to share an emotional moment with them.
"It was just a blessing," Thomas said. "It is a moment I will cherish for my life, but at the same time I got my foot in the door and now I'm going to knock it down."