Denver Nuggets fans have been anxiously awaiting the return of Isaiah Thomas since he signed with the team in the 2018 offseason. In that time, Thomas has been continuing his rehab process after undergoing hip surgery. After 11 months since the surgery, Thomas finally took to the court for the first time in a Nuggets uniform, and the Pepsi Center gave IT the outstanding welcome that he deserved.

It was heartwarming to see Thomas get that reaction, considering what he’s been through in the last two years following his MVP-caliber season with the Boston Celtics in 2017. He’s had to battle injuries, trades, and personal tragedy, and it could not have been easy. Thomas officially making his return has to be extremely gratifying for him, and to do it with a standing ovation from his new team must have been the cherry on top.

The moment he checked into the game for the first time was the boost that the Nuggets needed in order to make their own comeback against the Sacramento Kings. The team went on a run in the third quarter, and Thomas even chipped in two three-pointers and a highlight-worthy alley-oop to Mason Plumlee. The Nuggets escaped with the win, 120-118.

The Isaiah Thomas era in Denver is just beginning, and hopefully IT can bring flashes of his brilliance to the team as they make their playoff run after the all-star break.