Hasheem Thabeet's history is known by most, so expectations for him coming into this season as the backup center were low. As the season has progressed, not only is Thabeet finding a role in OKC, but his teammates are noticing as well.
James Herbert of Hardwood Paroxysm writes a great profile on Thabeet today, and as is often the case, the testimony of others is more powerful than the testimony Thabeet can give for himself.
Thabeet called the team a "big family of big kids". This family earned a remarkable reputation and record by grooming superstars who stay steady in the spotlight and surrounding them with responsible role players. Thabeet is asked only to be the latter. "They don’t expect me to come in and give them 20 every night. [They just ask] me to be a part of the team and do what I do, which is rebound and just be the force in the middle on defense. That’s what I do."
"The best thing he does is he’s active, he rebounds, he blocks shots," said Thunder forward Nick Collison. "But his skillset is not to be a back-to-the-basket scorer and I think when you’re taken at that pick, people expect that all of a sudden. If that’s not who you are, and you have those expectations, you’re not going to be able to live up to them. I just think people have to look at players for who they are regardless of where they get picked. And as an individual player you can’t get caught up in that, either. You have to do what you do and that’s who you are in the league."
Be sure to read the whole thing.