Bulls fine Tyrus Thomas for comments that he's only in dunk contest to make some extra money
Chicago Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson has levied a $10,000 fine on Bulls rookie forward Tyrus Thomas for his comments after being selected to participate in the 2007 Slam Dunk competition to be held on NBA All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 17 in Las Vegas.
“This fine is an appropriate response to the remarks Tyrus made concerning his participation in the Slam Dunk Contest. It is a poor reflection on Tyrus individually and a poor reflection on the Bulls organization and I am certainly disappointed,” stated Paxson. “The league office has chosen Tyrus to participate in one of its premiere All-Star events and that is an honor that should be accepted with humility. I spoke to Tyrus this morning and am confident he understands that he made a mistake with his words and that he also understands the importance of representing the Bulls and the NBA in a positive way.”
Thomas (6-9, 215) has appeared in 41 games with Chicago, including two starts, and averaged 3.5 ppg and 2.7 rpg in 10.3 mpg.
Thomas had told the Chicago Tribune that he wasn't actually excited about being involved. Words from Thomas to the paper that drew the fine were: "I'm just going to go out there, get my check and call it a day... I'm just into the free money. That's it. I'll just do whatever when I get out there."
InsideHoops.com Editor Says: Here's the thing. Honesty is great. And if more athletes were totally open and honest in interviews, there would be a lot hotter player quotes out there and covering the league would be more fun than ever. No one gets much from bland, neutral, politically correct answers.
So it's cool that Tyrus was honest.
What's not cool is, if he doesn't really care about being in the dunk contest and putting on a great show for fans worldwide, he shouldn't have accepted the invitation to be in the event. I'm sure that J.R. Smith or James White would love to be in the content and would probably work hard to prepare some great dunks; or, if they don't prepare, still put their heart into it.
The Bulls did the right thing. Good PR work on their part. They acted quickly. So now hopefully sometime between now and the dunk contest Tyrus realizes he'll be on a worldwide stage and really goes for it.