Thomas went from D-Leaguer to NBA starter

Thursday, May 17, 2012
By: Jim Eichenhofer,

For numerous young Hornets players, the silver lining to a rampant, teamwide injury bug in 2011-12 was the chance to receive an unexpectedly large amount of playing time. Perhaps no player benefited more than Lance Thomas, who went from D-Leaguer to NBA starter over the course of a few months. After being cut by New Orleans early in the season, Thomas later made 10 starts for the Hornets, with his first coming March 24. Additional quotes from Thomas that we couldn’t squeeze into his season-review article on

On his huge opportunity to play this season:
“It’s a blessing. I haven’t taken a second of it for granted. For what I had to do to get here and what I had to do to stick for the rest of the year was tough. I don’t think a lot of people would’ve stuck with it or kept their confidence up like I did. But this was a blessing. I was very appreciative for the opportunity. The coaching staff believed in me and allowed me the opportunity to start some games. Every chance I had, I made the most of it. I’m not going to look back and think, ‘Man, I wish I would’ve played harder.’ I know I maximized what they gave me.”

On second stint with team:
“I’m playing confidently. My job is to complement our veterans. What I want to do every time I step on the floor is to not let the level of play drop. That’s one of my goals. I want to affect the game in some way. The coaches expect me to shoot the ball when I’m open. I’m not going to be hoisting up a bunch of shots, but if I have an open look, they want me to shoot it confidently. I might only get two shots a game, but I make sure I shoot it with confidence.”