Nets’ Cam Thomas Gets Reality Check Amid Increasing Frustration

Cam Thomas, Brooklyn Nets

Getty Cam Thomas #24 of the Brooklyn Nets.

The Brooklyn Nets are 3-4 since they last had either Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving. Their ceiling is undoubtedly lower minus two Hall-of-Fame-caliber players but the expectations from head coach Jacque Vaughn remain as high as they have always been, including when it comes to talented youngster Cam Thomas.

“I’ll continue to reiterate how important he is to our group,” Vaughn said via Alex Schiffer of The Athletic during a teleconference with media on February 22. “What I think Cam can be is a bonafide, efficient, and productive scorer for us when asked upon. He’s a guy that can shot create, but we don’t anticipate him playing 40 minutes as he did in those games. So the big part of our whole group is we have depth and so why not lean into that? …At the end of the day, it’s about the entire group, and I’m gonna continue to push that culture more than anything else.”

Thomas got out of the gates on a heater following Irving’s trade demand rattling off three consecutive 40-plus-point performances.

The former 27th-overall pick in 2021, Thomas’ role changed after the trade deadline.

He went from averaging 35 minutes per game in the four games leading up to and on the day of the deadline with three starts. Since then, with the newly-acquired pieces assuming starting roles, he has averaged fewer than 20 minutes over the Nets’ last three outings.

It is a development that has not necessarily sat well.

“Just do my job,” Thomas said about coming off the bench via the Nets’ official YouTube channel after the win over the Miami Heat that sent them into the break. “That’s about it….It’s tough. From doing one thing and trying to adjust to the team because that’s just what you got to do. But it’s tough for sure. So just got to figure it out and move on from there.”

Thomas had 19 points and went 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Vaughn has said that there will continue to be adjustments made to the lineups as they close out the year and evaluate what they have.

“I guess Coach is still trying to figure everything out, so I don’t know,” Thomas said. “I don’t have the answer for you.”

Vaughn “figuring everything out” has meant more exposure for the new guys with positive results – their new starting five boasts a net rating ranking in the 100th percentile thanks to stifling defense, per Cleaning The Glass.

Cam Thomas Looks to Cash In

In a bit of news brought to light by Nets Daily on Twitter, Thomas has taken steps to secure the bag off the court, filing for a trademark for the phrase “ain’t s*** funny”, which he told Bally Sports NBA insider Brandon Robinson.

Thomas’ sense of humor — or perceived lack thereof — took on a life of its own on social media and even led to some merchandise.

Seeing that, or perhaps just taking the proper steps first, Thomas hopes to cash in whenever his “catchphrase” is uttered.

For reference, one of the most famous catchphrases in all of sports entertainment, made so by ring announcer Michael Buffer, has helped him amass some $400 million with the aid of a trademark filed in 1992. His brother, Bruce Buffer has also detailed times they went after major entities such as Disney and Sony for using one of their famous lines during an interview on “The Residency” podcast in June of last year.

Buffer waited eight years to secure his trademark so Thomas is ahead of the curve.


The payday might not ever reach Buffers’. But, if it’s any consolation to the 21-year-old Thomas, he has not gotten the worst of all that has happened in the last few weeks.

Ben Simmons’ Trials and Tribulations

Beleaguered star Ben Simmons has seen his playing time go from over 27 minutes per night to a little over 19 minutes per since Irving’s demand and removal from the lineup.

He has averaged 3.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in that span.

“It’s going to be some work that we have to do,” Vaughn said after a loss to the New York Knicks on February 13 via the team’s YouTube channel. “You just take a look at what the lineups could potentially look like. …You see the challenges that lie ahead”

Simmons, who has said that he “likes” to be called out when warranted, has also said he would have an issue if it came with losses instead of wins.

“I ain’t really had no message from [Vaughn],” Simmons said via the team’s channel following their loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on January 25. “But I think it’s more just whatever team needs to win. so if we’re winning having a problem but if we’re losing, then I got an issue.”

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