Thoughts on Thomas

February 22nd, 2011

When things are going well for him, Joston Thomas is the brightest star in the universe. When they’re not, he’s sullen and he’s sullen for all the world to see. To this point, the talented Hawaii sophomore forward never hid his emotions, and that’s part of what makes him so much fun to watch when he’s playing well, but it’s also a part of what got him in the doghouse.

Of course it’s disappointing to ride the bench when you’re used to playing heavy minutes. But you can’t show it to the whole arena. When you do that you’re disrespecting your teammates, your coach, and by extension, the entire program.

And you can’t continually argue with your coach and expect no repercussions.

Thomas is a very likable person, and seems to always means well. He tries to be a good teammate and is very genuine in his encouragement of his fellow Rainbows. But if he can’t function consistently as part of a unit — in good times and bad — he’s not going to be a good teammate or player, not to mention the team leader he wants to be, and could become with some maturity.

I’m glad first-year coach Gib Arnold and Thomas have patched things up. I look forward to watching Thomas electrify crowds at the Sheriff Center through the next couple of years. That is, if he truly realizes his role on the team. Because if he doesn’t do that and he becomes even more of a distraction, there’s no way Arnold can keep him on the team. Perhaps sitting in Honolulu while his teammates won a game on the road without him helped wake up Thomas.

Arnold’s goal, as it has been from the beginning, is to get Thomas to consistently perform in a way that helps the team; when Thomas doesn’t try to dribble or shoot from outside too much, he’s fine, he has some great games and helps the team win. When he gets fancy, he doesn’t. It’s simple as that.

When you have a young player who sometimes thrives on emotion but also sometimes hurts himself and his team with it, the question is if that emotion can be reigned in without breaking his spirit and losing the positive energy that can come when it is displayed at the right times.

In Joston Thomas’ case, I think it can. But he shouldn’t test Gib Arnold’s patience again if he likes playing basketball at UH.

8 Responses to “Thoughts on Thomas”

  1. vcamchucker14:

    Tee Hee!
    No worries, Joston!
    Da nex’ time Da Head of Da Tsaikos gives away some free tickets to watch you folks play and I win ‘um, I’m gonna cheer for you plenty, brah!
    When I watch you folks on da free replay, I can tell you can ball, cuz!
    Jus’ hang in dea!

  2. protector:


    You hit the nail right on the head. We can use a talented performer like Joston, but we don’t need any more prima donna or diva types on the team to derail the progress it has made. Just as Riley Wallace rehabilitated the flakey (sometimes spectacular, but always entertaining, intense and energetic) “Little Matt” Gibson, I hope Gib can instill some semblance of self-discipline and control into Joston to maximize his talent and potential brilliance. Look at how far Vander has come. By the time he’s a senior, he could be pretty dominant.

  3. divinewind:

    Dave, You raise valid points and im sure you mean well. But, it is my personal feel that issues arsing betw player and coach should stay in confidence. If these issues eminated from civic or student wrongdoings then, the athlete comes within the public domain. Coach made it clear this was not the case.
    Thomas is clean.

    True, attitude affects team chemistry, but that is the basis for Arnold’s hire. That is his job and his alone. He recruited Joston and it is the coach’s responsibility and job to develop both skill and team behavior.

    Im not defending Thomas nor am I blaming Arnold. Im just saying, these things should not be turned into coffee table discussions. As a fan, we basically support the bottomline and as long as rules are not being violated keep the gym discussions out of the press. JMHO.

  4. Mr. B:

    The problem with athletes today is that they are weak pukes. Due to the fear of lawsuits, coaches and P.E. teachers today are afraid to dish out punishment when their players get out of line. I grew up in the 70′s/early 80′s, and I remember one day I was late for Pop Warner football. I lied to my coach by telling him that “I had a lot of homework.” Later, he found out I lied to him. The next day at practice, I had to run around the park, in full pads and helmet, for almost 2 hours. No breaks – no walking or stopping, and NO WATER. It was close to 90 degrees, and I was only 11 years old.

    He told me to stop 15 minutes before practice ended – just in time for me to run wind sprints with my teammates. I was exhausted and ready to collapse. I went home, skipped dinner, didn’t shower, and just fell asleep. The next day, my dad asked me, “What happened at practice?” I told him the truth. My dad told me, “Good for you – you dumb $h#t!”

    This is the kind of thing that built toughness in me. I bet even the current UH football players would not be able to jog, in full pads, for 1.5 hours, followed by ten 100-yd sprints. Players would be collapsing left and right. Why? Too much pampering. They are athletically GIFTED, but MENTALLY WEAK.

  5. Mr. B:

    The problem with Thomas is that I bet he never had a coach who “kicked his okole” when he acted out, talked back, or argued with a coach or a ref when he was a young athlete. I played little league for my dad. If I ever talked back to him, showed him or any of the other coaches (or an umpire) even a hint of bad attitude, my dad would kick the living crap out of me. Lots of players today think they are “hot $h#t”. Nobody puts them in their places.

    Coaches are scared to make them run 25 100-yd wind sprints in the heat of the day because they are afraid of being sued. Water today is provided liberally. The only time we were allowed to drink water was at the END OF PRACTICE. Freaking water bottles were UNHEARD OF!

  6. Mr. B:

    If I were coach Arnold, and Thomas gave me lip service, I would tell him, “What did you say to me you SOB?!?” And then I would make him run “suicides” on the court until he vomitted and pleaded with me to stop. I would run that kid into SUBMISSION! I’d break him down physically, mentally, and spiritually until he learned the meaning of RESPECT!

    But no can because then he would go crying to Jim Donovan and President Greenwood, and I’d get fired.

    Society today is sad – that’s why we got punks running around.

  7. Leonore Sauro:

    Massive thank for posting this. really well thought out article. I’ll make sure that I share after my pamper days.

  8. read:

    Although I actually like this publish, I believe there was an spelling error close to the end from the 3rd sentence.

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