When the Charlotte Bobcats cut ties with Tyrus Thomas two summers ago, his life went into a tailspin.

Thomas divorced his wife, and survived a major health scare.

The fourth overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft – with career averages of 7.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in his first seven seasons – says he’s matured quite a bit over the years, and hopes for a second shot at the L.

Per Basketball Insiders:

Thomas disappeared from the spotlight after being amnestied by the Charlotte Bobcats in July of 2013. In addition to losing his career and stepping away from the game he loved, Thomas also went through a divorce and what could have been a career-ending surgery to remove a cyst from his back. […] “I can’t begin to tell you what was going through my mind,” Thomas said. “It all felt overwhelming – being released, going through a divorce and then the injury that led to me ultimately having to have surgery.”

 

“My body is feeling good,” Thomas said. “I’m just getting back into the rhythm of everything. Since my surgery, this has really been the first time that I’ve been able to work out and give it my all, doing everything without any restrictions. I’m just trying to get in shape, get my body back to the way it needs to be to play an NBA season.”

 

“I was 19 years old when I first entered the NBA; it’s no excuse and I’ve owned my mistakes, but whew have I grown a lot,” Thomas said. “Over the last two years, I’ve grown not only as a player but as a person. I now realize the opportunities that, at times, I took for granted. I look back now and I was just a poor kid from South Baton Rouge. I didn’t understand then what I understand now. Everything happened at once: getting amnestied, going through a divorce and making the decision if I wanted to come back and play basketball because of the severity of the surgery. Going through all of that, I definitely grew up.”