Isaiah Thomas gets buck naked for the cover of ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue

Isaiah Thomas hears the haters and can’t help but laugh. (AP)

Isaiah Thomas made the bold choice to bare it all for ESPN the Magazine’s annual Body Issue, and the magazine announced Friday that the Boston Celtics All-Star point guard will appear on the cover of this year’s model.

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If your workplace is one that might not look too fondly on the presentation of a mostly naked dude on your computer screen, please feel free to click on links to any of a number of different blog posts. Say, this one about 2017 No. 1 draft pick Markelle Fultz’s abiding love of Chick-fil-A, or this one about Knicks owner James Dolan getting heckled at his blues concert. We offer plenty of fully-clothed content options here at Ball Don’t Lie!

If, however, you’re interested in how Thomas looks in his birthday suit (with the naughty bits tastefully obscured, natch) as captured for a major national magazine, well, here you go:

A first look at Isaiah Thomas on the cover of ESPN the Magazine’s annual Body Issue. (Photo via Walter Iooss)
A behind-the-scenes look at Isaiah Thomas’ ESPN the Magazine photo shoot. (Photo via Mahala Gaylord)

In his interview with ESPN’s Morty Ain after his photo shoot for the magazine, which will be released online on July 5 and hit newsstands on July 7, the 28-year-old “Mr. Irrelevant”-turned-All-NBA selection discussed the role that weightlifting has played in his life ever since he was a child, growing up with a 5-foot-7 bodybuilder for a father, and how being deceptively strong and “compact” in his 5-foot-9 frame has “helped me take my game to another level” as a Celtic:

“I mean, the things that I’m doing &mdash if I were 6-5 or 6-6, it would be magnified even more, talked about even more. And that’s how it’s been my whole career — my whole life. I’ve never been given a fair shake, even to this day. I always say nothing’s been given to me; I always took what I believe is mine, and I always took advantage of the opportunity that I’ve got. And not to put anything against the bigger guys, but for the most part, they’re handed a lot. Us little guys in the gutter, we’re not handed anything. We’re not given the benefit of the doubt. They always overlook us.”

“If I were taller, the season I had would be getting even more attention. For sure. There’s no doubt about that. People always try to find something that I don’t do well, or that the small guy doesn’t do well, and put it against him. For instance, when you’re smaller they always say you’re a defensive liability. If somebody scores on a 6-5 guy, it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s good offense.’ If somebody scores on a 5-9 guy, it’s like, ‘Oh, he’s a liability; he’s too small.’ It’s always something.”

“If I were 6-3 or 6-5, I’d be the best player in the world. No doubt about it. And that’s not just me thinking that; I mean, the world would think that.”

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Thomas joins 22 other athletes, including Chicago Cubs star Javier Baez, in this year’s issue. He’s the 12th NBA player to appear in a Body Issue, joining past models Dwight Howard (2009), Amar’e Stoudemire (2010), Blake Griffin (2011), Tyson Chandler (2012), Kenneth Faried and John Wall (2013), Serge Ibaka (2014), DeAndre Jordan and Kevin Love (2015) and Dwyane Wade (2016).

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!