By Paul M. Banks
The young season has certainly been very rough for Tyrus Thomas so far. Although we’re just 5 games in, he’s already had a spat with Coach Vinny Del Negro over playing time, and seen his contract extension with the Bulls declined. On the exact same day he was told there was no long term place for him in Chicago, he also missed a game versus Milwaukee with “flu-like symptoms”. This comes on the heels of an off-season in which the Bulls aggressively tried (and failed) to trade him. And this past summer also saw Chicago draft two players (Taj Gibson and James Johnson) who play his exact same position. The message is clear.
And then today this was announced (from Chicago Bulls.com)
“Chicago Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas suffered a fractured radius of his left forearm during a weight training session this morning at practice. X-rays confirmed the injury and he will undergo surgery tomorrow. The surgery will be performed at Rush, by team physicians Dr. Brian Cole and Dr. John Fernandez, and assisted by Dr. Mark Cohen. Thomas is expected to be out four to six weeks. In four games (three starts) this season, the Louisiana State product has averaged 8.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 1.75 bpg in 21.0 mpg. Currently in his fourth year with the Bulls, Thomas has appeared in 229 games (95 starts) and posted averages of 7.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.34 bpg and 0.82 spg in 19.9 mpg.”
His NBA career is starting to remind me of the main character in the film “Sideways.” The journey of life keeps giving him major blow after major blow after major blow. For a top 5 pick, he certainly has been a bust during his career in Chicago, and obviously this injury doesn’t help matters.
He suffered a very minor injury this pre-season, and I thought his response to the media was very telling of his character, and attitude. One day at the Berto Center in October, The Score’s David Schuster asked him something along the lines of how he was feeling about the practices and workouts he missed. Thomas responded. “What did I miss? I know the offense, it’s preseason.” In a best case scenario, the response is indicative of him not liking the media, and not wanting to talk to reporters very much. Worst case scenario: it’s indicative of him lacking worth ethic and desire, and the motivation to get stronger and better in convalescence. Now with this new injury on his hands, let’s hope for the sake of the Bulls and their fans, it’s the former and not the latter.
The one person who truly gained from this occurrence is Taj Gibson, who is now cemented in as the starting 4 for the time being.