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LeBron James took to Twitter to defend Isaiah Thomas on Thursday. The tweets came after images showed fans burning Thomas’ Boston Celtics jersey when news came out that the point guard would be traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers late Tuesday. James also defended Gordon Hayward, who is moving from the Utah Jazz to the Celtics, after fans also burned his jersey too.
He attacked the idea of loyalty in the modern era of pro sports.
The burning of the jersey thing is getting ridiculous now! The man was traded. What do u not understand? & played in a game after .....— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 24, 2017
sister tragic death. Gordon Hayward paid he's dues as well and decided to do what's best for him and family. Put in the work, got better....— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 24, 2017
Became an All-Star, etc!! If these guys weren't good, u guys would be the first to say "get them up out of here". Man beat it! When "we"....— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 24, 2017
decide to do what best for us it's "cowardly" "traitor", etc but when it's on the other side it's "business" huh!?!? Ooh ok. Man do.....— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 24, 2017
In the tweets, James writes that Hayward paid his dues and that players have to focus on doing what’s right for their careers and their families without being called a “traitor.” James personally experienced backlash from fans after leaving the Miami heat back in 2014, and after leaving Cleveland in 2010.
For his part, Thomas played for the Celtics immediately after the death of his sister, only to be unceremoniously dealt to Cleveland months later.
Sarah Jasmine Montgomery is a Daily Dot contributor whose writing and criticism cover all things pop culture, with an emphasis on how communities of color impact physical and digital cultural spaces. Her writing and photography have also appeared in Texas Monthly, the Fader, Complex, and Billboard.