clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

It’s Cam’s World now as Thomas gets star treatment

In interviews with GQ and JJ Redick, Cam Thomas is as honest a player as you’ll find in the NBA about a lot of things.

Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

When Cam Wolf talked to Cam Thomas recently, Wolf brought up his wild shot against Jaylin Brown, the one where he turned in mid-air and dropped in a middy, Wolf expressed a deserved degree of awe.

“See, I didn’t even know that was a hard shot. I’m just like, ‘Oh, that’s just a normal shot.’ I didn’t know that was a hard shot until everybody started posting, it was like, ‘Cam Thomas. Tough shot maker.’ And I’m just like, ‘That was just a normal shot.’”

Mikal Bridges, who went from defending Thomas just before the Kevin Durant trade to shooting next to him, has said he was surprised to see his new teammate taking and making all manner of weird shots.

That’s Cam and right now in Brooklyn, it’s Cam’s World. He was averaging 26.7 points a game before he went down with an ankle sprain on November 8. Now, he’s finally back and the media has gotten a chance to take a breath and delve deeper into the psyche of self-described 22-year-old “bucket getter.”

So within an hour Thursday afternoon, not long before he suited up for his first game back , a lengthy interview dropped and J.J. Redick’s Old Man and The Three tweeted out a tease of his interview with Redick and Tommy Alter. That followed a one hour, 22-minute film study by The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie that first aired Wednesday.

GQ’s Wolf spoke with Thomas just after his 45-point effort vs. the Bucks two days before he got hurt.

In that game, Thomas put up a 33-footer over the master of the logo shot, Damian Lillard, then stood silent in a stare.

Did he realize he had just pulled a Dame on Dame?

“No, not really. It was just like, ‘Oh, I made a crazy shot.’ That’s the only thing. But when you reflect on it and see everybody showing my face after and I was like, ‘Oh, I guess I did.”’

That’s it. That stoic visage of the shot Lillard and the acrobatic antic over Brown is what Thomas is about. Take me for what I am ... and I am very, very good. All of that came through in the GQ interview as he spoke about his favorite NBA moment, his rebellion against the fashion police, his pride in his defense on how playing with the Big Three was a great opportunity for him to learn from the masters.

That favorite NBA moment came not during his wild scoring this season or last, but in his rookie year.

“I’d probably say the game against the Knicks my rookie year,” said Thomas. “Because we were down by like 25 or something and then we came back and won in Madison Square Garden.

Actually, it was 28 points, tied for the biggest comeback in franchise history, and he hit a 28-footer to beat the Knicks.

Perhaps the most entertaining give-and-take came when Wolf asked if he had any interest in being a fashionista like so many of his teammates. (This is the successor to Gentlemen’s Quarterly, after all.)

“[M]y first year I was like, ‘Okay, I got to find some good clothes.’ And then I’m just like, ‘I’m not even going to just keep spending my money on this stuff.’ I’m just getting some sweats, some Nike Techs, wear some nice shoes and call it a day. You’re just going to get in there, change into your uniform anyway so it doesn’t really matter. So I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m not going to spend all my money on clothes again...

“I’m like, ‘Nah, I’m not here for that.’ I’m trying to get on the court and play, get buckets. So I’m not really worried about that.”

Thomas spoke as well about playing with — and learning from — Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden helped him. He might have wanted more of a role — every rookie does, but the tricks of the trade taught by the most skilled ever. Well, that was special.

“Coming to Brooklyn really helped me as far as seeing prolific scorers. Being a prolific scorer, it was useful watching those guys and learning how to work on your game and prepare,” he told Wolf. “Just certain tricks of the trade that they do that you see in games that you learn and that you try to use in your own game. So I feel like it was a blessing in disguise to be drafted to Brooklyn, so it is working out right now.”

Working right now indeed.

He also described how now that he’s a starter how he and Mikal Bridges work things out.

“It’s just a trust thing. If most people watch the game, you know that me and Mikal [Bridges] rotate a little bit: I take a possession or I’ll take two possessions in a row if I’m scoring and feeling it and then after those two I may give it to Mikal, or Mikal may give it to me.”

In the GQ interview and in the preview of the Redick podcast, Thomas does not hide his frustrations at not playing although at this point, he understands things better. In a description of what he felt sitting on the bench last season, Thomas articulated what every benchwarmer on any bench in any sport feels as games go on.

At the end of the discussion of bench-warmery, Redick recalled being put into a close game at the end of the third period. He describe how he fantasized about he could make some threes, help his team, the Magic, make a big comeback. Then, just as he was checking in at the scorer’s table, Stan VanGundy advised him, “Don’t try to be a hero.”

Like everyone else in the studio, Thomas laughed, then added, “why not?”