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Abqtrib: The Hunger of Kenny Thomas

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Free Agent, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. Free Agent

    Free Agent Member

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    http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/sports03/042303_sports_kenny.shtml

    The hunger of Kenny Thomas

    Richard Stevens
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The former Lobo slimmed down for his solid role with the 76ers. But he's a free agent soon, and he'd like a Philly steak - or a meaty chance elsewhere.

    What Kenny Thomas is trying to prove in the NBA playoffs isn't that he belongs in the same league with superstars like Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan.

    The former University of New Mexico sensation proved his worth long ago.

    Now he's trying to establish exactly how much his worth is worth.

    "This is a real important year for me, because it's my contract year," the 6-foot-7 Thomas said. "I've pretty much proved I belong in the league. What I'm working for now is having a good year and finishing strong, because I become a free agent after the season."

    Thomas has been with the 76ers since Dec. 18. Philadelphia got him in a trade with the Houston Rockets. The 76ers would not say how much money they are paying Thomas this season. ESPN reported he was making $1.6 million in the final year of his contract with Houston.

    Thomas said he'd like to stick with the 76ers. Coach Larry Brown said he would like the same thing.

    The bottom line might be the line on Thomas' contract that talks about money.

    Thomas wouldn't say how much he wants. Brown wouldn't say how much Philadelphia should give.

    But Brown does think the 76ers should give. He likes Thomas' game.

    "Kenny is a big part of this team, and I hope he'll be a big part of this team in the future," Brown said. "I like the guy. I like his work ethic. I'm asking him to do a lot of things he probably hasn't been asked to do, and he just goes out there and does it.

    "If we can't get him again, I'd recommend him to anyone."

    Thomas, 25, isn't a marquee NBA player and probably never will be one. He will never demand the same money that the NBA throws at Bryant, Iverson or Duncan.

    But Thomas is the type of player every NBA team wants and needs.

    Thomas is a workhorse under the boards, and the ex-center, who scored 1,931 points for UNM, can rip the nets in the NBA, too.

    In a 14-game span this season, Thomas reached double figures in 12 of those games, including a 24-point, 20-rebound performance against Orlando. In a 13-game stretch from March 21 to April 13, Thomas averaged 12.5 rebounds.

    But this is not the same Lobo that Lobos fans once watched rule The Pit.

    Ex-Lobos coach Dave Bliss' mound of round that weighed in anywhere from 265 pounds to 280 pounds is lean and mean at around 240.

    Which brings us back to that stuff that coach Brown is asking Thomas to do: Play facing the basket and guard the tall, quick shooting guards of the NBA.

    "In order for Kenny to complete his potential, he needs to be more of a perimeter player," Brown said.

    "He has to be able to guard all those athletic guys on the perimeter. He needs to be able to score more off the dribble."

    Thomas isn't naive or stubborn when it comes to evaluating what he needs to do in order to complete the potential seen by Brown.

    Thomas needs to improve his perimeter shooting and ballhandling. He needs to stay lean.

    "At UNM, I was a five (center), and I carried the weight pretty good," he said. "But now I'm a three (wing) or four (forward). So I have to play out front, put the ball on the floor.

    "But I'm so much lighter now and still strong. So I feel pretty quick."

    Thomas was never slow. He ruled the paint at UNM, in part, because of that quickness. But he also led UNM to a 102-30 record from 1995 to 1998 because of his ability to use his weight against his foes.

    "In college, it was always buffets and all-you-can-eat, and when you don't have any money, you eat all you can eat," Thomas said. "I used to eat whatever was in front of me.

    "Now, I have the money to eat what I want and eat right."

    If the proof of Thomas' worth is to come out in the playoffs, then Thomas need to elevate his game for tonight's Game 2 against New Orleans.

    Thomas made his NBA playoff debut in Game 1. He played like a rookie scoring four points and taking down two rebounds.

    But Thomas got into foul trouble early and played only 20 minutes. The 76ers were carried by Iverson, who scored 55 in the 98-90 Philadelphia win.

    "I've pretty much proved that if I get the minutes, I'll perform," he said. "I think I've gained a lot of respect in this league. It feels good to be able to come into the NBA and do what I've been able to do.

    "And I'm young. This is only my fourth year. I know I'm sticking around, not going anywhere, but I still feel I haven't done what I'm capable of doing.

    "I'd like to stay in Philadelphia, and I think they want me. But if not, I'll go somewhere else."

    You can reach Richard Stevens at 823-6663 or at rstevens@abqtrib.com.
     
  2. Texas Stoke

    Texas Stoke Member

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    wouldn't that be cool if, somehow, someway, Kenny came back to Houston next year.
     
  3. finalsbound

    finalsbound Member

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    Man, **** Kenny.
     
  4. codell

    codell Member

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    Speaking of KT ...he is having a monster game tonight.
     
  5. ivanyy2000

    ivanyy2000 Member

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    Kenny Thomas is only 25????

    That makes the trade more stupid. EG and Mo T are clearly be the backup for Thomas.

    Thomas today 16 pts and 15 rebounds so far vs NO.

    If we can keep him, not only can we make the playoff, but can have a decent PF for at least 5 years.

    What if we keep EG for 5 years, we have take a risk to wait him to develop, pray that he is not a bust, hope he can live up his potential. By then, if everything is OK, are you sure you can keep him? Probably he will play for another team!!!!
     
  6. Texas Stoke

    Texas Stoke Member

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    you're in denial.
     
  7. finalsbound

    finalsbound Member

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    I'm joking.
     
  8. ivanyy2000

    ivanyy2000 Member

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    Stats update:

    Kenny Today: 16 rebounds, 17 pts, 6- 11, and decent percentage.

    I guess more and more people here are thinking bring KT back this summer right now though it is not possible. :(

    Somebody tell me how long Eddie Griffin need to develop into a O’Neal like player you all describe as
    :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  9. Free Agent

    Free Agent Member

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    Kenny was a black hole here. Iverson would kick his ass if he tried that stuff in Philly. Yao was too nice.
     
  10. Texas Stoke

    Texas Stoke Member

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    me too :cool:

    but man they really screwed that one up, didnt they...
     
  11. Texas Stoke

    Texas Stoke Member

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    He was not a black hole. thats just the way our offense was run(- iso clearout for kenny, iso clearout for Kenny.. clear out the lane.. stand to the side with your hands on your hips) If you ask me it was just a divisive offensive game plan that makes a player look weak if they dont shoot it when that player has his play called. Its kinda like when Mobley was saying Yao wasnt aggresive all the time because even when they passed him the ball he didnt always go for the shot but instead elected to pass the ball.. thats the kind of mindset one has when one plays in that type of system that is based on the ole' "lets call your play" "everybody else clear out" crap. its not Kenny fault he was a black hole, he was a product of the system he played in.
     
  12. Woofer

    Woofer Member

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    Funny how the *black hole* fits right into the Philly scheme, doing things our coach *never* thought to ask him to do, their coach sees *potential* our coaching staff *never* saw. If our 3 or 4 hustled like I've seen Kenny hustle we wouldn't be talking about how lousy most of our 3/4's are. Larry Brown thinks he can be a six foot seven shooting guard. The jury's out on that but at least he's trying to use what he's got to it's fullest potential.


    PS. If we got Kenny back, he'd be the same player we had before, because it's the system!
     
    #12 Woofer, Apr 23, 2003
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2003
  13. DJ

    DJ Member

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    How many times does Kenny Thomas slim down?
     
  14. SmeggySmeg

    SmeggySmeg Member

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    sounds like it was Rudy's system
     
  15. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    This is all ironic as hell, ain't it? Kenny in the playoffs and us talkin' about what we're doing in the offseason. I hope he has a sense of humor about it all. He should be getting a good laugh at our expense and I wouldn't blame him one bit. I wish him well.
     
  16. Free Agent

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    Is he the reason the Sixers are in the playoffs? I doubt it.

    I guess it's ironic that Dan Langhi is in the playoffs too (albeit in street clothes).
     
  17. Free Agent

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    It's also funny how well players step it up in a contract year. Maybe that's what Griffin is waiting for?
     
  18. u851662

    u851662 Member

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    Bingo... Why cant some of us see what the problem here is. Blatantly speaking Rudy cant coach players that need to be led or players that need to learn. He has only been successful with Vet's, and mind you the coach before him taught them how to play. Rudy is a hell of a friend though! LOL!
     
  19. KeepJuaquin

    KeepJuaquin Member

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    That sucks.

    But still...even if we did keep him...he wouldn't be like this.

    It all has to do with the coaching.

    And he has a very nice role there.

    Too bad we don't have anybody who can rebound or putback missed shots.

    Man.

    I miss him.

    Now he's crazy.

    Easy double doubles all day.

    And he's actually smiling these days. And talking. Wow.

    If I was the 76ers, I would resign him definitely. Doing great there. Fits well...
     
  20. KeepKenny

    KeepKenny Member

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    Do players always just say, "this is my contract year, so i gotta play good." ? he just comes out and says it, followed by, "if they dont give me enough money i'm outta here, without a second thought." i dont know, i just never heard a player talk so openly about stepping his game up because its a contract year. its not to help the team, no, its for the money.
     

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