All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas has yet to make his Cleveland Cavaliers debut, but that didn’t stop him from representing his new team on Wednesday’s episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
Thomas made a 30-second cameo, appearing as himself at a press conference for a young Cavs fan who was reunited with her family after being kidnapped some 15 years earlier. Believe it or not, the TV drama about sexual assault and crimes against the elderly, disabled and children wasn’t so uplifting, but Thomas was a beacon of light, submitting an acting tour de force worthy of all the awards:
Isaiah Thomas on Law & Order SVU speaking at a press conference for a Cleveland Cavaliers fan found 15 years after getting kidnapped >>> pic.twitter.com/0TOSUGTYfD
— Matthew Hays (@matthewghays) October 26, 2017
Most actors would go to great lengths to ensure they didn’t sound like they were reading from cue cards, but Thomas flipped the craft on its head, actually reading directly from the cue cards.
His only lines of the episode, delivered straight from a few flash cards: “Like all of us, I remember the picture of Emma and her Cavaliers jersey. I bring the strength of this family every game that I play. We play and we pray for you. This jersey is to honor your homecoming and remember to always believe.”
Thomas held up a jersey with the words “ALWAYS BELIEVE” stitched above the number 2007, because every young Cavs fan wants a jersey that reminds them of the year they were kidnapped. Naturally, it’s tradition to have an NBA player address the media between the kidnapping victim and her father upon their reunion. And Emma’s mother thanked the New York Police Department, because the show takes place in New York City, and we all know every young New Yorker grows up being a Cavaliers fan.
The “every game that I play” line is a little awkward, since he has not suited up for the Cavaliers after suffering a hip injury and being traded from the Boston Celtics to Cleveland this past summer. And the show missed a real opportunity to feature an awkward exchange between IT and “SVU” star Ice-T. But it’s not like Thomas wrote the show, so give the man his Emmy, because he was transformative.
This is something I've always dreamed of doing and I got the chance to be on my favorite show Law & Order SVU. Thank you to everybody that made me feel comfortable on set yesterday, it was a honor to be working with such great actors/actresses! @nbcsvu
A post shared by Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) on Sep 14, 2017 at 11:04am PDT
“This is something I’ve always dreamed of doing,” Thomas wrote on Instagram after filming last month, only a week after being introduced to Cleveland, “and I got the chance to be on my favorite show.”
Thomas took some heat for appearing on the show while still rehabbing his hip:
So you went to CLE to make tv shows?
— Mr. Mallory (@TheMrMallory) September 13, 2017
But brushed it off with his usual bravado:
Yup and win a championship https://t.co/Z7ND7ub4mx
— Isaiah Thomas (@Isaiah_Thomas) September 13, 2017
Thomas couldn’t have known the episode would air during Cleveland’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets, but sure enough, as he was delivering his lines, LeBron James was playing point guard in defeat because Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade were also sidelined with injuries. Sounds like “SVU” has another ripped-from-the-headlines tale to tell. Hopefully a healthy Thomas can play a starring role next time.
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