5 Q’s With James Thomas
Thomas played most of the season in the D-League, where he was a unanimous choice as the Rookie of the Year after leading the league in rebounding (13.0) and double-doubles (20). This is his third call-up to the NBA after stints with Portland and Cleveland earlier this season.
In Atlanta he will be reunited with his college teammate Royal Ivey, both of who played together at the University of Texas. Hawks.com had a chance to speak with him about the difference between the two leagues and what he hope to accomplish with the Hawks as the season draws to a close.
Hawks.com: What have you learned from your call-ups so far to the NBA?
James Thomas: The third time is a charm, you know? I learned that when you get called up, you can't expect to get in the game right away. It takes time to learn plays because you are coming from a different place and you still have those plays in your mind. So when you are out there, you just have to focus.
Hawks.com: What is the toughest thing about making the jump from league to league?
JT: I think the transition of it. It's all basketball, but it's on a different level. You have to step your game up another notch, just to prove to people that you belong here.
Hawks.com: How does the level of play differ?
JT: It's slower down in the developmental league. People aren't as mature in their games down there as they are on the NBA level. It's much faster up here - the pace, the players, everything.
Hawks.com: What do you hope to contribute here the rest of the season?
JT: I want to bring more energy, you know? I'm young, and that's what the coaches want from me. They want me to get back on defense, run the floor, and rebound. It's all about RDR - rebound, defend, and run, and I have no problem with that. That's what I've been doing all my life.
Hawks.com: How nice is it to have Royal, your college teammate, here to help you adjust to Atlanta?
JT: Oh it's real nice. It makes me think back to my Texas days when I used to beat him up. When the coach yells at me, I can take it out on Roy. They were kinda getting on me some today, so I'm going to go find him and pound on him some right now actually (laughing).
Micah Hart is the Assistant Web Editor for the Atlanta Hawks