NBA star Isaiah Thomas made the courageous decision to play in Sunday's playoff game against the Chicago Bulls, just one day after the sudden death of his younger sister.
The Boston Celtics guard wept on the sidelines prior to the team's first playoff game, looking down at his shoes on which he'd written "RIP Lil Sis," "Chyna" and "I love you."
Chyna Thomas was killed in a single vehicle crash in Washington State when her car veered off a road and traveled 50 feet before slamming into a metal pole.
In a statement released Saturday, the Celtics extended their condolences.
"We are terribly saddened by the tragic loss of Chyna Thomas," the Celtics said in the statement. "The thoughts and prayers of the entire Celtics organization are with Isaiah and his family."
While at least one fellow player was seen comforting Thomas, former NBA star turned sports announcer Charles Barkley told fellow panelists on TNT's Tip-Off show that he felt uncomfortable with Thomas' show of emotion.
"That tells me he’s not in shape to play... To be sitting on the sideline a few minutes before the game, crying, that makes me uncomfortable for him. That’s just not a good look, in my personal opinion," Barkley said.
Barkley went on to say that playing through grief can be therapeutic, however, and Thomas scored 33 points in the game.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver also released a statement.
"The NBA family mourns the tragic passing of Chyna Thomas, and we send our deepest condolences to Isaiah, his family and the Celtics organization during this difficult time," the statement read.