Knucklehead. Headcase. These are the words that have described Tyrus Thomas throughout his NBA career. The 23-year-old has developed a reputation as immature and unwilling to adapt to what his coaches have told him. If last night was any indication, he may function pretty well without that input.
Thomas started his Bobcats career in his first game after being traded with a bang, scoring 9 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and adding six (6!) blocks in just twenty five minutes of playing time.
The Bobcats are a heavily coached team under Larry Brown, with a lot of information they share to remember. So how did Thomas excel? Is he some sort of Good Will Hunting prodigy as Bobcats blog Bobcats Baseline likens him to?
Well, maybe not. Rick Bonnell in his post-game notes for the Charlotte Observer notes that Thomas told him he “forgot everything he heard in a pre-game cram session.” I guess you can’t take the knuckle out of the head, but you can turn it against the other team by just letting the player’s instincts take over.