Originally posted on Knicks Journal  |  Last updated 8/25/12


After seeing NBA champion Tyson Chandler come to the Knicks and immediately elevate the team's defensive effort and mentality, it's no surprise fans were pleased to see Marcus Camby return to the Big Apple this offseason.

Prepared to backup Chandler next season (creating a very intense one-two punch on the defensive end), it was none other than Camby himself who helped anchor the Knicks' defense from 1998-2002. Still playing at a high level at 38 years old, it's arguable that he and Chandler collectively represent the strongest starter/backup defensive duo in the league.

Though it's normally not a good thing to be considered "a third-wheel," the Knicks and their fans should feel an immense amount of pride and excitement when recognizing Kurt Thomas as the team's third-string big man.

Currently the NBA's oldest active player (he'll be 40 in October), Thomas was also on the Knickerbocker squad that reached the NBA Finals in 1999.

Even in his "old" age, Thomas remains one of the league's most reliable players. He's still known to knock down that classic mid-range jumper with ease (he shot 47% from the field last season with the Blazers), and still has no qualms about sacrificing his body for the sake of the team.

The big man's gritty effort on the defensive end helps him fight for rebounds, block shots, and chase down loose balls on a nightly basis.



Though he spent last season in Portland, Thomas was even more the fan-favorite the season prior, in 2010-11 with the Bulls. He started 37 contests, filling in Joakim Noah, and even earned the nickname "Big Sexy" from Bulls' commentators. He averaged 4.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, and even shot 51% from the floor for Chicago, before embracing somewhat of a lesser role with the Blazers last season.

But expect Thomas to be trusted with decent minutes once again next season. Having donned orange and blue in the past, Thomas knows exactly how to succeed and embrace the special feeling that comes along with it, right in the heart of New York City.

With Jared Jeffries also involved in the trade that brought Thomas and Raymond Felton both back to New York, Thomas could very well fill a role similar to that of Jeffries'. It wouldn't be surprising to see the returning big man be granted a couple of starts here and there. His ability on the defensive end could earn him major minutes when the Knicks face a team with a big man like Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum.

While he's known for his defense, Thomas also stands to pass on his key to longevity to a star like Amar'e Stoudemire. With STAT having to deal with various injuries during his first two seasons in New York, it could prove immensely helpful for Thomas to talk with the six-time all-star about how to longer his career in the NBA. The elder statesman surely has some secrets as to to how to keep your body strong and staying ready and able, while at the same time, enduring the bump and bruises that come along with years of competition.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Kevin Durant has...RUSSELL MANIA!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Nationals' Stephen Strasburg expected to return next week

WATCH: Footage surfaces from Tim Tebow’s baseball workout

Teddy Bridgewater suffers serious knee injury at practice?

EON Sports strikes VR partnerships with Miami, PSU

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mike Tyson accused of stealing ice cream treat at U.S. Open

Calvin Johnson to join DWTS, sister says he ‘can’t dance’

Eagles rookie nixes anthem protest after talking to agent

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

Teddy Bridgewater injury puts Vikings' plans up in the air

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

Vontaze Burfict on Steelers: ‘I don’t give no f—s about them’

Alistair Overeem: Brock Lesnar will never return to UFC

Top five Heisman Trophy candidates for 2016

Five young NFL players set to explode in 2016

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

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

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

West-ern Literature: How Kanye's fans find meaning in between the lines

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

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