CHICAGO — Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas is expected to travel home to Tacoma, Washington, after Friday’s Game 6 against the Chicago Bulls to attend his sister’s funeral, a source told ESPN on Thursday, confirming a Boston Globe report.
Chyna Thomas died following a single-vehicle accident April 15. As family and friends gathered Thursday for the first of two nights of viewing, Thomas traveled with the Celtics to Chicago, where he’s expected to play in Friday’s Game 6.
The Celtics, who lead the Bulls 3-2, can clinch the best-of-seven series with a victory Friday night.
If the Celtics and Bulls require a Game 7, it would be Sunday at 1 p.m. ET in Boston. Sunday also could be the start of the Eastern Conference semifinals if both the Boston-Chicago and Washington-Atlanta series are completed Friday night.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens previously noted he’d like to give teammates the opportunity to attend the funeral for Thomas’ sister if the schedule allowed. The Celtics organization will be represented at the funeral, a source told ESPN.
Throughout Boston’s first-round series, Stevens has praised the way his team has rallied around Thomas in his time of grief and marveled at how Thomas has managed to play despite the circumstances.
Thomas has requested no questions about his sister during his media sessions this week but has noted that he’s still reeling from the loss.
“Man, I’m just taking it day by day. Some days are better than others,” Thomas said Tuesday. “I’m not here, man. It’s never going to be the same.”
Stevens called it “unfathomable” that Thomas has played so well under the circumstances. Before Wednesday’s Game 5, Stevens said Thomas’ situation has given the team perspective.
Said Stevens: “Sometimes you realize this is just a game.”