Originally posted 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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Baker Mayfield addresses Johnny Manziel comparisons

Report: Rob Gronkowski in good spirits, Patriots optimistic he'll play in Super Bowl LII

Astros' Jon Singleton receives 100-game suspension

Jalen Rose: ‘Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio’

WWE fires Enzo Amore in wake of rape accusation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tyronn Lue says it’s ‘crazy’ to scapegoat Kevin Love for Thunder loss

Report: NFL wants Raiders to sign Kaepernick after Rooney ruling

Jay Feely: Gisele tried to get me to convince Tom Brady to retire

Raiders to make a run at Le’Veon Bell if he becomes free agent?

Law enforcement to keep close eye on Tom Brady’s jersey, other items at Super Bowl

Joe Thomas shades Big Ben while talking up Todd Haley

The 'OK, so it's not always good to be The King' quiz

How to stop a Pats comeback: Never think you're ahead

How the Philadelphia Eagles arrived at Super Bowl LII

How the New England Patriots arrived at Super Bowl LII

Close calls: 20 MLB greats who came closest to Cooperstown but never made it

Nine reasons why the Eagles will beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII

The surprising failure of Jason Kidd

How things have changed since last Eagles-Pats Super Bowl

The Chicago Bulls' future is on the clock

Position-by-position breakdown of Super Bowl LII teams

The 'More things change...' quiz

Greatest surprise Super Bowl stars

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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Close calls: 20 MLB greats who came closest to Cooperstown but never made it

The 'OK, so it's not always good to be The King' quiz

How to stop a Pats comeback: Never think you're ahead

How the Philadelphia Eagles arrived at Super Bowl LII

Greatest surprise Super Bowl stars

Position-by-position breakdown of Super Bowl LII teams

Oldest players to ever be on Super Bowl rosters

The 'More things change...' quiz

How the New England Patriots arrived at Super Bowl LII

Players with the most Super Bowl appearances

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker