By James Herbert @outsidethenba on Mar 11 2014, 12:32p
In an interview with SBNation.com, Thomas talked about rooting for the Lakers growing up, watching Allen Iverson's jersey retirement, staying positive on a losing team and much more:
You got into basketball when you were 4 years old. Do you know what it was about the game? What started it?
My parents just said I just loved basketball. I always had a ball in my hands. But I also loved football growing up. Those were my two favorite sports. And then there came a point in time where basketball was more fun for me. It was somewhere I could be in the gym all day and have fun and never get bored with it. It's been a dream of mine since I was a little boy to play in the NBA, and I'm living the dream to this day.
Everybody knows your dad was a Laker fan, but you were in Seattle. How did that work? Were you a Laker fan?
I was a little brainwashed. My dad's from LA, so growing up in his house, I was a Laker fan. But I loved the Sonics, I loved Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp. The Glove and the Reign Man, those were my two favorite players. But growing up, like I said, I was in a Laker household and got brainwashed. My favorite player is Kobe Bryant. I like the Lakers.
It sucks. I mean, it doesn't suck I got drafted by the Kings, but that's their biggest rival, so you gotta watch what you say about the Lakers around Sacramento.
So when the Sonics played the Lakers, if you'd watch with your friends, was that a bit weird?
I would always be at the game actually. My dad would somehow find some tickets and I had a Laker warmup that I'd always go in. I had the Laker actual authentic warmups, the yellow jacket, the purple breakaway pants. Like I said, I was a Laker fan but I was also a Sonics fan. Just fun seeing Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, them guys in person.
I think everybody's seen the photo of you wearing Shaq's jacket. What's it like being able to actually know him on a personal level now?
It's crazy ‘cause the first time he had texted me, I didn't even know he had my number. And he gave me some advice. I'm like, 'Who's this?' He said, 'It's Shaq.' I'm like, 'It's Shaquille?' Like, I was still tripping out about it. But he's a great guy.
And it's crazy to even be in the same league as a guy like Kobe Bryant. My first real regular season game was against the Lakers, and when I first got in the game I had to guard Kobe Bryant for a few possessions. So things like that, it's a dream come true and it's a blessing from God to be in the position.
Read the rest of the article in the link...
http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/3/11/5 ... rview-2014