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Tim Thomas: Unfulfilled potential

Modified 16 May 2014, 14:50 IST

tim thomas nba

The 6 foot 10 inch forward, NBA basketball player Tim Thomas, had the athleticism, energy and speed which could have helped him rise to the very top of the sport. But for the majority of his career, his talent remained unfulfilled because of his lack of dedication which resulted in an average career with a few standout performances.

Thomas was a very athletic and active player, who had a knack for shooting three pointers and making it look almost effortless. His talent first emerged during his time at Paterson Catholic High School when he was selected to play in the MacDonald’s all-American Game in 1996, which consisted of the top basketball players from high school. Later during his time at Villanova University, he was signed by the New Jersey Nets, but soon he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Keith Van Horn.

In his rookie season with the team in 1997 Thomas did a commendable job with an average of 11.0 points per game. This also led to him being named in the NBA’s All-Rookie 2nd Team. But a decline in form in the next season led him to be traded to the Milwaukee Bucks.

With the Bucks Thomas enjoyed several competitive seasons. His PPG (Points Per Game) during this time consistently went up from 8.5 in his first season (1998-99) to 14.1 in his sixth (2003-04) and final season with the team.

Thomas was then traded to the New York Knicks in 2004, but after an underwhelming year, was traded to the Chicago Bulls, who in turn traded him to the Phoenix Suns in 2005.

2005-06 proved to be one of the most successful and competitive seasons for Thomas. He played a crucial role in helping the Suns get pivotal wins against the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. After his improved performance in the Playoffs, Thomas was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. He stayed with the team for 3 years in which he played moderately well.

In 2008, he was traded to the New York Knicks again, followed by the Chicago Bulls in 2009 and then to the Dallas Mavericks later in the year. In January 2010, he left the team temporarily for a year to be there with his wife, who had been suffering from a serious illness. Subsequently he left the team in order to spend more time with his family and has since been in semi-retirement.

Thomas had all the required attributes to become one of the greatest NBA players of all time, but his lack of commitment towards the sport proved detrimental to him and is the reason why he only shined during a few short spells in his career. He never really adjusted properly and played for a long time with any team, but spent most of his career at a myriad number of teams.

Published 16 May 2014, 13:30 IST
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