Isaiah Thomas pulled on a jersey number familiar to pro basketball fans everywhere as he made his NBA return on Tuesday night for the New Orleans Pelicans, and offered his teammates a glimpse of what he can do.
Appearing in his first league game in 14 months, Thomas scored 10 points, including eight consecutive in the first half, in a 123-107 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
The former University of Washington point guard took the floor in No. 24, which was a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers.
"The uniform was available and Kobe was one of my very close mentors," Thomas explained. "It was the opportunity to play homage to one of the best players who ever played the game."
As far as numbers go, Thomas wore No. 2 for the UW, which is retired now and hangs on a banner from the rafters of Alaska Airlines Arena.
In the NBA, he also has donned jerseys 3, 4, 7 and 22 in his well-traveled pro basketball career.
Over the weekend, Thomas, 32, signed a 10-day contract with New Orleans as he attempts to rekindle his pro basketball career. His previous game appearance had come in February last season for the Washington Wizards.
Against the Hawks, he drew 25 minutes of game time and hit a long 3-pointer to get started for a team that needs a boost.
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