- Chicago Bulls 2006 - present
Tyrus Wayne Thomas is a professional basketball player from the United States of America and plays as a power forward. Thomas began his high school career at McKinley High School where he made the team only by the time he was in his junior and senior year. Tyrus was considered too short for the team, standing at just 5’10” and each time he tried out for the team, he was cut.
In his junior season, Tyrus had reached 6’6” and despite never being one of the topmost prospects of high school basketball, was offered a spot on the Louisiana State University basketball team albeit without a scholarship. Tyrus decided to commit and went to Louisiana State University where he took the place of a Junior College recruit who was kicked off the team in Tyrus’ second season at the university.
Tyrus also got his share of the scholarship and thereafter, a now 6’7/5” tall Thomas finished his senior year in high school with a 16 point average with 12 rebounds and 6 blocks per game. He got into the All-Louisiana Second Team for the 2004-05 season.
In 2005-06, Thomas took the SEC Freshman of the Year title after leading the Louisiana State University Tigers with 12.3 points per game and 9.2 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. He was also named as the NCAA Atlanta Region MVP during the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
Despite being in the middle of a recovery process from an ankle injury, Thomas was prolific in the NCAA tournament that season and helped his team to the Final Four for the first time since the 1986 season. At the end of the tournament, in April, 2006, Thomas decided to announce his availability for the 2006 NBA Draft and was picked at 4th overall, by the Portland Trailblazers. On the same day, he was traded out to the Chicago Bulls.
In his rookie season, Thomas made 72 appearances for the Chicago Bulls during which he averaged 5.2 points per game with 3.7 rebounds and 1.06 blocks per game. His incredible jumping ability made him a formidable rebound & block candidate and that also got him into the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Contest, the first Bulls’ player since Scottie Pippen in 1990. At the end of the year, Thomas was named to the “2006-07 NBA All-Rookie Second Team”.
In the following season, Thomas played 74 games and raised his stats to 6.8 points per game with 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. In 2008-09, Thomas set a number of career highs for his short career so far. He played in 79 games while starting 61 and averaging 27.5 minutes per game. His .333 3-point shooting percentage and .783 Free Throw percentage as well as an average of 6.4 points, 1.1 steals and 10.8 rebounds per game, all were career highs.
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