Get an inside look at the roots of Isaiah Thomas’ assortment of collegiate and NBA team shorts.
As an up-and-coming basketball player during the early 2000s, Kings guard Isaiah Thomas recalls frequently coming across close friend and longtime mentor Jason Terry – then of the Atlanta Hawks – sporting a fresh pair of varying NBA teams’ official game shorts.
“I was in fifth or sixth grade, and every summer, ever since Jason (made it) the League, he worked out in other teams’ shorts every day,” recalls Thomas. “I used to try to go in his house and take them, because I love shorts – college shorts, NBA shorts.
“I had his Atlanta ones – home and away – back then, I took a pair of Milwaukee Bucks ones (because I was a fan of) Glenn Robinson and I had a Denver Nuggets pair, too.”
Upon entering the NBA, No. 22 – who’d also ask friends on various squads for practice and game-worn gear while growing up – took Terry’s advice and enlisted the assistance of Kings Equipment Manager Dwayne Wilson to enhance his own collection.
“I found out (Jason) asks his equipment manager, so every game, I ask (Dwayne) to get me the (opposing team’s) shorts,” says Thomas. “I tell him the ones I’d like, and he’ll just come through in the clutch.”
With NBA teams continuously revealing new uniforms, including alternate and throwback color schemes, the University of Washington product’s assortment has grown exponentially.
“I probably have at least 20 out of the 30 teams – I have around 25 (total pairs),” he says.
“There are a few teams (I’ve forgotten to get), and there are a few teams I have two colors of their shorts.”
Unlike Terry, however, Thomas’ collection isn’t part of his pregame routine.
“The one thing Jason does, he sleeps in the opposing team’s shorts before (each game),” says the Kings guard. “I don’t sleep in them – I just wear them around the house.”
In the offseason, Thomas now finds himself in a similar position to his mentor.
“When I go back home,” says No. 22 with a chuckle, “Everybody’s like, ‘How did you get all these shorts? Let me get them!’”
While Sacramento’s rising star discloses he’s received over a half-dozen pairs from Terry over the years, he isn’t ready to part with any of his cherished keepsakes just yet.
“Everybody wants them when I’m wearing them, but I’m trying to keep them to myself,” admits a smiling Thomas. “At least for now, until I get (every team’s shorts).”
Catch Thomas and the Kings take on Greivis Vasquez and the Hornets on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Sleep Train Arena. To get tix, Click Here.