There’s a reason why it hurt so many Boston Celtics fans to see Isaiah Thomas traded to Cleveland.

Sure, the NBA’s bombshell blockbuster trade put the C’s in a position to contend for an NBA title. Kyrie Irving has been nothing short of spectacular for Boston, and the Celtics own the NBA’s best record, all while doing so without the services of Gordon Hayward.

Thomas, meanwhile, has yet to play while he rehabs a hip injury, and who knows where Boston might sit without Hayward and waiting for Thomas to return.

But in his two-plus seasons with the Celtics, Thomas drew admiration and adoration from Boston sports fans in a way few athletes have in recent years. Celtics fans loved him not only for what he did on the court but in the fearless manner he did so. Just as important, Thomas embraced the whole idea of playing in Boston and playing for the Celtics.

In the latest chapter of “Book of Isaiah II” on The Players’ Tribune, the guard reflected on what made playing in Boston so special.