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Isaiah Thomas focused on extending his career

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WALTHAM, Mass. — Like any professional athlete, Isaiah Thomas is motivated by success. Unlike some professional athletes, he appears willing to try pretty much anything to attain it.

Thomas had plenty of reasons to be motivated this offseason. His Boston Celtics lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of last season’s NBA playoffs, then lost out on the Kevin Durant free agency sweepstakes in July. But courting KD afforded the Celtics point guard a chance to meet Tom Brady, and apparently the New England Patriots quarterback rubbed off on him.

A refreshed and excited Thomas admitted at the Celtics’ media day Monday he made some significant lifestyle changes this summer — ones that Brady fans might recognize.

“I changed my diet,” Thomas said. “I got a (personal) chef this summer back home. I’m eating vegetables for the first time in my life, other than when my dad used to make me. I eliminated fast food, eating out and things like that. You guys have heard it before — I want to play until I’m at least 40, and I know it starts with little things like that.”

We’re not sure if the 27-year-old has purchased TB12’s high-end “nutrition manual” yet, but cutting out junk food isn’t the only change he made.

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“Last week I got in contact with Dr. (Charles Czeisler) over there at Harvard, the ‘Sleep Doctor,’” Thomas said. “I’m trying to learn how to sleep longer and sleep more, because that’s one thing that other than eating healthier, I don’t get a lot of sleep. Whether that’s watching basketball or just watching TV or playing video games, I’ve got to learn to get more sleep because I know that’s going to help me become a better basketball player on the court.

“So, it’s those little things that I’m trying to figure out. The older I get, I’m trying to figure those little things out to become a better basketball player, because it’s not just all on the court.”

Thomas already is coming off a breakout season in which he averaged 22.2 points and 6.2 assists per game while being named to his first All-Star team. The bar will be set even higher for Thomas and the Celtics with Al Horford in town, but the undersized point guard is up for the challenge: Literally.

“Now I’m listed at 6-foot-1,” Thomas joked at the beginning of his interview session. “That’s what I worked on this summer — I got stretched every night.”

Yardbarker: NBA

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