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OKC Thunder: Thunder might have a diamond in the rough in Hasheem Thabeet

Spurned by other NBA teams, Thabeet has found a home — and somewhere to play — in Oklahoma City.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: June 5, 2013

Thabeet thinks he could have had a better year than he did but realizes he made progress. He even called the season his most rewarding as a pro.

“So far, I would say yeah,” Thabeet said. “I haven't played a lot for the past three years. I never really worried about that even though I wasn't as happy. Now I'm happy, actually … I used to stress a lot over things I couldn't control and it didn't do me no good. Now … I want to work hard for my teammates … So it's working pretty well.”

All season, Thabeet respectfully declined to talk about his previous stops in Memphis, Houston and Portland. All three turned out to be disasters, and Thabeet is believed to have not been fully supported by the front offices and coaching staffs of all three organizations.

As a result, Thabeet floundered. He came to Oklahoma City with career averages of 2.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.9 blocked shots in 135 games.

But from the moment he joined the Thunder as an observer at the Orlando Pro Summer League, Thabeet was welcomed with open arms.

“It seemed like a lot was expected,” Thabeet said. “Once I really got into it everything was out there. All the (resources) you need to be successful was out there. It was for you just to go get it.”

Thabeet still remembers walking through the doors of the Thunder's practice facility in the early days and being greeted by one helping hand after another; not only by teammates and coaches, but also by the head of team security, the director of player services and the head athletic trainer.

“Everybody wants to help you to get better,” Thabeet said.

Thabeet listened.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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