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Ex-Bull Thomas basking in Suns (Not Online)

By Dave D'Alessandro
Star-Ledger Staff

Tim Thomas -- apparently an advocate of the win-win scenario -- says he expectred it to turn out this way from the start.

He's not happy in Phoenix. he's delirious. And he's almost as pleased that the nets, as desperate as they were for his services, have turned things around without him.

"I knew at some point, they'd turn it around," said the Paterson native, who signed with the Suns on March 3, two days after receiving his release from Chicago. "it's a veteran team, they'v ebeen to the Finals twice. I know Vince (Carter) wants to win, I know Jason Kidd is pushing them. That's good. That's what I wanted to happen. I wanted to see them get it going. They're playing great right now."

Life in Phoenix is pretty good itself. Before going scoreless in last night's 110-72 loss to the Nets, Thomas had averaged 12.5 points in his first 12 games, on a whopping 49 per cent shooting (.457 from downtown).

"Playing with Steve (Nash), Shawn (Marion), Stat (Amare Stoudemire), it doesn't get better than that -- the whole environment," Thomas said. "Basketball is definitely fun again. It's the best situation a player can be in."

Having said that, Thomas said the Nets are "still an opton" when he becomes a free agent this summer. Though it was widely reported that Thomas was steered West by Bulls GM John Paxson before he would be given his buyout, Thomas said, "that's your assumption. I'm not going to sit here and (divulge) anything."