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Former New York Knicks Big Man Kurt Thomas Considering NBA Return

January 9th, 2014 at 12:55 PM
By Matt Agne

The last time Kurt Thomas was seen in the NBA he put on a courageous performance that inspired the New York Knicks and probably saved their season. Playing hurt, Thomas put the team on his back and showed more heart than any Knicks player in recent history. However, playing on a hurt leg seemingly put an end to his eighteen year NBA career. That might not be the case. Now Thomas is considering a return to the court, but doesn't see the Knicks as a likely landing spot.

'Come back soon' photo (c) 2010, Mandy Prowse - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Kurt Thomas is 41 years old so he's clearly on the last leg of his NBA career. In fact, most thought it was over and we'd next see Thomas popping up as an assistant coach somewhere throughout the league. However, he's interested in returning to the NBA if the right situation comes up. That means he'd like to hook up with a contender and get a ring if say the Miami Heat or someone of that stature was in need of some veteran leadership.

Can you blame the guy? Thomas has played eighteen years in the NBA and hasn't won a championship. Right now he hasn't been implicated in talks with any specific clubs but he's clearly throwing his name out there hoping to hook up with a contender.

The timing isn't a coincidence either. Teams are eligible to offer players 10-day contracts on Monday. That's probably the kind of deal Thomas would get if a team did decide to bring him in. However, Thomas' representatives have also made it known that the New York Knicks don't fit his criteria.

Thomas performed well in limited minutes with New York last year. Per 36 minutes, he averaged 8.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. That's pretty good, especially for a guy with his age and experience.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports Thomas is healthy and open to returning to the NBA in the right situation.

“If the right call comes, he’d come back,’’ Hicks told The Post. “He’d only play for a club that has a legitimate chance at winning a championship. Not the Knicks, I can tell you that.’’

Asked why not the Knicks, who utilized his leadership last season, Hicks said bluntly, “Not the right situation.

Here's the thing, Thomas shouldn't want to come back to the Knicks. Not as a player. He has an open invitation to join Mike Woodson's coaching staff. That seems like a realistic career choice at Thomas' age. However, the Knicks aren't a championship contender and so at this point if he were to come back the Knicks shouldn't be on Thomas' short list.

That being said, they shouldn't want him either. Right now they should be developing their youth and building cohesiveness between the players that are currently on the roster and may have a future in New York. The fit just isn't right for either party.

Despite that fact, he brings the exact kind of veteran leadership the Knicks lack. That's probably the case for a lot of contending teams as well. There's a reason why the Heat, for instance, keep Juwan Howard around. Now that Howard's an assistant coach maybe Miami would be open to Thomas joining the roster. Maybe not, but you can't fault the veteran for keeping in shape and hoping he can link up with a team who can get him a ring. He's certainly played long enough to say that he's earned it.

'Retirement' photo (c) 2012, Tax Credits - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Tags: Basketball, Juwan Howard, Kurt Thomas, Miami Heat, Mike Woodson, NBA, New York, New York Knicks

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