The Oklahoma City Thunder have a team-first environment cultivated over the last four seasons by the coaching staff of Scott Brooks and the player selection by Sam Presti's front office. It's the strong work ethic and unselfish culture that has allowed the team with several stars to play together and make it to the 2012 NBA Finals. Now Hasheem Thabeet, a project center who has never lived up to his rep as a former No. 2 overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, hopes that culture can help develop his game and personality on court.
Thabeet just signed with the Thunder and his agent spoke about the team's reputation and environment as a reason for signing.
"Playing in that environment is positive," said Thabeet's agent, Bill Duffy. "Sam Presti has done a great job of not only building a winning organization but a culture that's conditioned to developing and nurturing. So we think it's a really good fit. So now the onus is on Hasheem to buy into that and to develop and to reach his potential."
Thabeet certainly has a height and size that intrigues at 7-3, but the talent has to be there as well. Thabeet's reputation of a poor work ethic and conditioning will not earn him any time on the court here, but perhaps teammates like Kevin Durant can help change that. At the very least, his own agent recognizes that the only person holding Thabeet back is the Tanzanian himself.