Tyrus Thomas; impressions from Bulls media day

Unfortunately, Tyrus was the only interview I did where I managed not to click the record button (hooray professionalism), so I have no direct quotes from him.   However, I did spend about five minutes talking to him about his off-season, goals, and the upcoming season. The first thing I asked him about was switching trainers from David Thorpe to Josh Oppenheimer.   I know Thorpe was a strong advocate of trying to keep Tyrus playing inside near the rim rather than on the perimeter while Tyrus has always viewed himself as somewhat more perimeter oriented, and I wondered if their split came over differing views on Tyrus's game. 

That doesn't appear to be the case, Tyrus said he still keeps in touch with David and values his opinion, but he switched to Josh because Josh is based out of Chicago, and he can work out with Josh everyday and still be in Chicago and around the team.  

I tried to get Tyrus's opinion on where he prefers to play on the court with several questions, but he didn't seem to want to go down that road.   Rather than classifying himself as a perimeter player or a post player, he classified himself as an X-factor.  He said he's shown he can play multiple positions, and it's up to the coaching staff where he's placed on the court.

Tyrus looks to have gained a significant amount of strength this off-season.  I know fans repeat that every year when looking at photos, but this year I really see it.  I've seen Tyrus each of the past three off-seasons, and physically he looks much tougher now than when I first met him.   He said his weight right now is around 235, but he'll probably drop a few pounds in training camp and might play closer to 230. 

He looks ripped, but he also looks a lot more filled in this year.   I'm not sure if that description entirely makes sense, but instead of just having some biceps, his chest and upper body just looks much more defined and built up.

Tyrus punted when I asked about whether he'd had any discussions with the Bulls this summer about an extension (referring me to his agent and Bulls management), but I've heard from other sources that he has not.  

From all reports, Tyrus has a focused and productive off-season.  I've been highly skeptical of him ever having it click for him, but he looks like he worked out hard this off-season.  If his skills have improved as much as his physique and his energy is consistent then he has a legit chance to change a lot of minds this season.

It's hard to mentally commit to Tyrus after having such high hopes for so long.  If you asked me a couple of days ago whether he was primed for a good season, I would have said no.  However, it's clear he's taking basketball very seriously right now.  He's always had the athleticism, and he looks like he's put in the work.  

What remains to be seen is if his skills and focus have improved as much as his body.   We won't get a feel for that until pre-season, but it's easy to feel a bit more upbeat about him today.


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  • I'm torn here. I'm worried TT will have a good year & flash some potential then we use our cap space to resign him after a bidding war then he goes back in the tank and stops working.

  • I want him to do well even if it means we would have to give him a decent deals. I see him getting a Jason Maxiel type deal which is I believe 18 mil for 3 or 4 years. Hey Doug did Tyrus seem more personable than in recent years. He always seemed dull to me and not interested in being outspoken with the media.

  • Tyrus must play smarter and get his 18/10, no excuses! The Bulls must get a reliable starter!
    If he doesn't step up, he should be let go.

    The Bulls have too many excuses. The slow circle dribbling clock eating Hinrich and the weak and winded No-Shot Noah are not NBA starters. Deng did not fit into Vinnie's offense when he was healthly and he may not be healthy again.

  • In reply to Alex:

    Seriously, we all get that you hate Kirk and Joakim by now, so is it really necessary to make the same comment about them every time you post?

  • In reply to Alex:

    I guess he will never change in that sense Doug. I wish he would open up like Derrick seems to have.

  • In reply to Alex:

    True Doug. Plus we will have plenty of good comments from JJ and Noah to keep us busy.

  • In reply to Alex:

    I am worried that he will have just good enough a year to make us believe that he is a keeper then get fat and happy when/if he signs a big money deal.

    However, I don't see him doing anything worthy of a $12 million per deal. In the Bulls eyes he is more Gordon than Deng.

    My gut feeling is that regardless of what he does, the Bulls will attempt to sign a free agent power forward, and will only come back to Thomas if they fail to land a bigtime free agent.

  • In reply to Alex:

    "Tyrus punted when I asked about whether he'd had any discussions with the Bulls this summer"

    I don't know what that means. Do you mean pouted? Or do I just have no knowledge of this definition of punt?

  • In reply to Alex:

    Oh. Well I'll be a son of a punt.

  • In reply to Brooklynbulls:

    F.Y.I. Punt is also the the term for the hollow indentation at the bottom of a wine or liquor bottle.

  • Your reasoning is solid, especially if you focus on the financial aspects of his likely extension vs the max deals the others will want/command.

    However, Tyrus would have to have an Amare style breakout year(25 & 10) to rise to #3 on the list in my eyes. In any of our wildest dreams, that isn't happenning.

    His age and his raw talent are an enormous tease, it almost makes it easier if he is a bust this season than if he progresses in a linear fashion, as he has the past few seasons.

    My gut says that Thomas will be like Devin Hester was, "He Gone"

  • This would normally be true, unfortunately the way that he interviews is almost certainly and inexorably linked to his performance on the court.

    Tyrus is essentially an uneducated kid from a backgorund lacking any discipline, structure or motivation.

    He mosts reminds me of Eddy Curry, I think that they are both simply too dumb as human beings to make themselves successfull as basketball players.

    I know that we are not supposed to say such things in todays PC society, however, it doesn't make them any less true.

    It is not a personal insult, it is a statement of perception/fact, no different than noticing/stating that Thomas and Curry are tall.

    For most of us, You are what you are, and it determines your destiny.

    This is why I do not believe that Thomas will ever make it big in the league. He will, however, find a way to stick around for 10+ years much like Stromile Swift and others of that ilk have based on his tantalizing physical gifts alone.

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