Thunder Center Hasheem Thabeet talks with reporters during the team's media day.
To anyone who follows men's college basketball, especially teams on the east coast, they probably remember the name Hasheem Thabeet. The former UConn center was a two-time NABC defensive player of the year and led the Huskies to an NCAA Final Four appearance in 2004.
Thabeet told reporters during Monday's Thunder Media Day that he stood at 7'2" tall. That's the tallest among active NBA players.
Since we're fact dropping, according to Thabeet's official NBA bio, Hasheem's Arabic translation is "destroyer of evil." Well, if evil can be defined as an opponents scoring, then "Hasheem"would be an accurate description.
The shot-blocker from Tanzania was so good at defense, Memphis drafted Thabeet second overall in 2009.
However if you type "Hasheem Thabeet" on Google, one of the first suggestions is "Hasheem Thabeet bust." There's a reason for that.
"It hasn't been the way I've wanted it to be," Thabeet explained. "But I'm not really worrying about my past."
After 3 below average seasons with 3 different teams, Thabeet signed with the Thunder during this offseason. It could be the right fit for his development in order to realize his once projected ability.
"We take a lot of pride in developing our players," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.
"The moment we draft them or acquire them through trade or free agency, we expect them to improve. And we do that with the work that we put in with them."
Thabeet is fine with that expectation.
"It's been such a tough road that I've been through and for me to be here and actually have people believe in me," said Thabeet. "It's great so I just have to come out here and work hard."
The backup center position is still undecided and with starter Kendrick Perkins expected to miss the entire preseason following offseason wrist and groin surgery, potential bench players like Thabeet will see a lot more playing time.