ATLANTA — Last July, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joined the Celtics’ delegation that traveled to the Hamptons to try to woo superstar free agent Kevin Durant. Although Durant ultimately signed with the Warriors, one result of the trip was a new bond between two of Boston’s biggest stars: Brady and Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas.
Thomas said the two frequently exchange text messages, with Thomas even putting in a request for a No. 12 Brady jersey. The keepsake arrived this week, signed by Brady along with the inscription: “Isaiah, keep ballin.”
Thomas said he’ll wear the autographed jersey to the Patriots’ playoff game against the Houston Texans on Saturday night, and then he will hang it in his home.
“When I got the jersey, I texted him that I appreciated it and he said, ‘Any time. Keep playing great and keep being you,’ ” Thomas said. “I just text him after most of his games because they’re all great games. And this week I hit him and said I’d be at the game and he was like, ‘We need this one.’ ”
Thomas is almost certainly headed to his second consecutive All-Star game and has become one of Boston’s most high-profile athletes. But he said there is still a clear separation between him and the other stars of the city.
“Maybe if I win a championship I can call myself that, but not until then,” he said. “I’m trying to get to their level.”
Thomas said Brady is arguably the greatest football player ever, and certainly the best quarterback. His football fandom is not exclusive, however.
He arrived at the Celtics’ shootaround here on Friday wearing a Seattle Seahawks sweat shirt. It was a display of support for his hometown team, which will be facing the Falcons in a playoff game in Atlanta on Saturday afternoon.
Thomas said Seattle coach Pete Carroll invited him to the team’s walkthrough practice Friday in Atlanta, and he attended a portion of it with a few Celtics staff members.
Thomas, who is from Tacoma, Wash., plays in Richard Sherman’s annual charity softball game and is also friends with quarterback Russell Wilson and safety Earl Thomas.
In August, Thomas attended a Seahawks training camp practice and took part in a basketball shootout against wide receiver Tyler Lockett.
Even though the Celtics have a day off Saturday, though, Thomas will not be sticking around Atlanta for the Seahawks game.
“I’m going to support my guy Tom,” he said.