You know, you and I are alike. We both like the basketballing. And judging by the fact that you made it to my little site here, I’ll venture as far as to say that you have a genuine interest in the Dallas Mavericks and the NBA. On top of that, if you’re like me, you read and immediately compartmentalized yesterday’s news of Tim Thomas’ alleged misconduct without much thought. This is Tim Thomas, after all.
A few hours later, it finally hit me: we are so much better than that. We’re better than that as fans, as people, and especially as citizens of the internet age. The interwebs are hardly a court of law, but shouldn’t we have given this guy even the slightest benefit of the doubt? Or at bare minimum, wait until all the facts had been revealed before we passed judgment and took our jabs? The answer is more than obvious, and it’s a pity that it took some honest reflection and a clarification of the facts to incite that reaction in me.
Honestly, I have absolutely no clue what transpired at a Dallas Denny’s at 3 A.M., and unless you’re Tim Thomas, a Denny’s employee, Roger Emrich, or Damien Pettie, you don’t either. Maybe Thomas is as innocent as Emrich’s account reveals, or maybe he’s not. But until the puzzle pieces fall into place, can we for one second assume that Tim Thomas isn’t at the bottom of everything? Thomas has pissed off his fair share of coaches, he’s alienated himself from teammates and fan bases, and he’s earned a pretty penny with marginal production to show for it.
All of that said, Thomas doesn’t have a history of legal troubles. His biggest off-court indiscretions can claim only locker room chemistry or his own ceiling as victims. But somewhere down the line, anecdotes of Thomas’ unfulfilled potential, ‘unique’ brand of sportsmanship, and attitude problems merged to create a living, evolving label. But rather than evolve to fit Thomas’ nomadic career path, that label has snowballed beyond the inconvenience of truth. This type of behavior is exactly what we expected out of the cartoony caricature of Thomas that’s been constructed from his rep alone, a testament to the unreasonable power of both hearsay and expectation.
You’d think after a spring and summer of he-said-she-said and faked pregnancies that we Mavs fans would know better by now. But Tim Thomas was a believable villain. It’s not right and it’s not fair, and regardless of whether Tim is innocent or guilty, he deserves better.