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The NBA's ABCs

Talen Horton-Tucker, affectionately known as THT is the newest addition to the NBA's alphabet soup. The young explosive player also has the admiration of LBJ (Lebron James) and AD (Anthony Davis)
Thu, Dec 24, 2020

THT in the gym. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

THT. No, not Alberton's Transvaal Heavy Transport company; in fact, far from it. Not Trinitrotoluene either, the chemical compound popularly known as TNT (the explosive material used for bombs). But we are getting warmer.

THT is the newest addition to the NBA's alphabet soup which already features the return of KD (Kevin Durant) in the East, AD, LBJ and KCP (Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) in the West.

While nicknames are part endearment and part respect, basketball commentators have taken to the pre-season exploits of the LA Lakers' Talen Horton-Tucker, or T.H.T! as they scream every time he barrels from coast to coast for an emphatic dunk.

At this stage, his abbreviated name is more due to affection rather than tried and tested basketball ability. However, he certainly looks like a real one thus far.

Like TNT, the 20-year-old THT is explosive, with the ability to tough it out on the post with the big boys and he has the finesse of a step-back three when required. He can pass a bit, too. The other day, a commentator remarked that they should give this young man the preseason MVP due to two 30+ games against the Los Angeles Clippers.

But in this cowntry, we all know too well that one swallow does not a summer make. Ask Iwisa Kaizer Chiefs. They have been masters of winning the 'Maize Cup', 'Beer Cup', and the 'Shell Helix Cup', but nothing of official importance in the past five seasons. LBJ and AD insist that the kid is special, he seems it, but it remains to be seen.

THT has been a welcome distraction from the league's free agency rumour mill and James Harden's petulance. The Houston Rockets Beard wants out of H-Town but he is under contract for two more years. So rather than showing up to training the big sulk decides to dishonour his teammates and new coach by partying with his rapper friends at strip clubs.

Beyond this, The Rockets have hired a black head coach, Stephen Silas, a rarity for a league predominantly comprised of black athletes but with just five black NBA coaches among 30 teams. Instead, Harden, an MVP calibre player, wants to chase personal glory instead of helping this black coach.

It seems these comrades abroad not heard of "serve, suffer and sacrifice" from the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania? We thought there was some progress when at the height of this year's BLM protests, Lebron James showed up to a press conference with a copy of the Malcolm X biography.

Former player, Stephen Jackson put it succinctly when he said: "What a real one would do is go play for that black coach and make him look good and build with John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins – some real ones. But, obviously, you want to go chase rappers around."

Back on the court, the season finally kicked off with KD's Brooklyn Nets taking on the Golden State Warriors and the Lakers against the Clippers on December 23. However, the blockbuster Christmas match-up will see the Lakers up against Luka Dončić's Dallas Mavericks.

It is widely held that Dončić is the second coming of Lebron James but overall, they lack the abundant star power the Lakers Nation possesses. If anything the team best placed to dethrone the Lakers must be the Brooklyn Nets with the combined talent of Kyrie Irving and KD. It is a long season ahead and much remains to be seen.

  • Watch THT, LBJ, AD, KD, and KCP on ESPN beyond this December.