Originally written on NBA 24/7 365  |  Last updated 1/27/13
Remember when Tyrus Thomas jumped over former Bulls and current Bobcats teammate Ben Gordon in the Slam Dunk Contest?  That was in 2007, almost six years ago to the day.  Tyrus was a 20-year-old rookie then, a slam-dunking pogo stick of a power forward who seemed to enjoy attempting to tear the rim down every time he got the chance. A lot can change in six years, especially in the world of sports.  Case in point, the average NBA career doesn’t even last six years.  That said, one would figure that Tyrus Thomas, who entered the NBA in ’06 with a reported 40-inch vertical and nine-foot standing reach, would still be able to dunk a basketball.  While he may no longer be a young basketball player, at 26 years old he is still a very young man — a very young man who stands 6’8”, maintains his physique for a living, and has suffered no catastrophic leg injuries.  There’s absolutely no way he can’t dunk a basketball, right? Yikes. In all seriousness, the case of Tyrus Thomas is a baffling one.  Even the greatest of athletes miss a dunk from time to time, obviously, but Tyrus Thomas is different.  Almost overnight, he went from throwing down contest-worthy jams on a regular basis to rarely even attempting to dunk.  This season, Thomas averages just 0.7 shots (shots, not makes) “at the rim” per game.  In 14 appearances, that’s a total of 10 on the year.  Meanwhile, he’s launched 68 shots from beyond three feet — 51 of them from outside the free-throw line.  Go back just two seasons and his “at the rim” attempts equaled his shots from 16-23 feet.  That’s a sudden, drastic change in playing style, and one that seems rather unwarranted as Thomas’s outside jumpers rarely go in (33%). Tyrus Thomas was never a starting-caliber player in the NBA.  He simply didn’t develop the skill set, nor the understanding of the game.  However, I don’t think you could find one Chicago Bulls fan who’d tell you Tyrus Thomas didn’t display effort and energy.  The problem wasn’t that he wasn’t trying, it’s that he wasn’t trying to do the right things sometimes.  As frustrating as it was, it was more forgivable than whatever it is he’s doing now. I mean, off the front rim, Tyrus?  That……. was frightening.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Adam Eaton gets 4th of July surprise from brother

Clippers in talks with JaVale McGee, Amar’e Stoudemire

Report: LeBron won't negotiate with Cavs until Thompson is signed

Andrei Kostitsyn interested in return to NHL

Blazers fire assistant who said Aldridge was leaving team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Miguel Cabrera lands on DL for first time in his career

LaMarcus Aldridge chooses to sign with Spurs

WATCH: Serena Williams wags finger at Wimbledon crowd, says, 'Don’t try me'

Report: Rajon Rondo headed to Sacramento Kings

Dez Bryant deal with Cowboys could be announced Monday

Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly sign long-term contracts with Columbus, Buffalo

Kosta Koufos agrees to deal with Kings

Report: Blues in trade talks about Kevin Shattenirk

Report: Gregg Popovich plans to fulfill five-year contract

4-Star LB commits to Kentucky, zings Louisville

Clay Buchholz not worried about trade rumors

All hope isn't completely lost for this year's Milwaukee Brewers

Roy Hibbert likely being traded to Lakers

WATCH: Pablo Sandoval falls over railing during catch

Report: Packers TE charged with firing a gun in Miami

Kawhi, LaMarcus, the mid-range and the Spurs' next epoch

How can Rafael Nadal regain his dominance?

NBA Rumors: Cavs and Spurs vying for David West

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.