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Kurt Thomas won’t be making a star out of Hasheem Thabeet anytime soon

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Hasheem Thabeet readies himself for battle (Getty Images)

During the offseason, veteran big man Kurt Thomas signed with the Portland Trail Blazers to offer the same sort of fantastic defense and steady locker room guidance that he's given eight other teams during his 16-year NBA career. Once written off as a too-early victim of crippling and potentially career-ending leg injuries after just his third NBA season, Thomas remains a steady contributor at age 39, with his talents somewhat wasted on a Trail Blazers team that is attempting to rebuild (while still working at .500, during that rebuilding process). As a mentor, during that rebuilding process, Thomas is asked to lord over former lottery pick Hasheem Thabeet, now struggling on his third team. And, as Hoopsworld's Bill Ingram pointed out the other day, Thomas isn't exactly enthused with Thabeet's advancement:

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Yikes. To be fair, water is delicious, replenishing, Heaven-filtered earth nectar. I'd be drinking some right now, had I not made delicious ice tea out of water.

Thabeet is struggling in Portland, managing just six points, seven rebounds and four fouls in 29 total minutes as a Trail Blazer, but as Dan Devine thoughtfully went over earlier on Monday, feelings have to be considered here. And Hasheem Thabeet, though he has a 7-1 frame that is absolutely perfect for the game of pro basketball (no foot issues, here), just doesn't appear to enjoy the game all that much. He's in it for the contract, just as about 75 percent of the people who read this post are as they go through their day-to-day work routine.

It's unfortunate, he clearly has all the tools to succeed further in this realm, but it's not really what he wants. And it's pretty clear that Thomas, just a few weeks removed from missing the postseason for just the fifth time in his stellar career, is not exactly keen to work miracles with the youngster that doesn't want to walk on water, much less improve his drop step.


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