Thaddeus Young is a little over a month away from turning 33-years-old, but what he did last night said otherwise.
At the end of the third quarter against the Charlotte Hornets, Young turned back the clock and met second-year big man Jalen McDaniels at the rim.
HOLY SHIT THAD
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) May 7, 2021
His thunderous dunk was followed by a ferocious battle cry, a 21-point lead, and a pat on Malik Monk’s bottom. Why that last bit? Well, according to Young, Monk is the reason we got the dunk in the first place.
Young told Adam Amin and Stacey King after the game that Monk had previously been questioning the big man’s athleticism. Young apparently responded to the 23-year-old guard “don’t try me” before deciding he might as well show Monk what he’s got in his bag of tricks.
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) May 7, 2021
Mess with the Bull, you get the horns.
I’ll be fine if we don’t see another Thadgic highlight over the remaining six games. After all, there is just something about this one moment that feels like it perfectly sums up this bounce-back season for Young. The 2019-20 campaign was so rough that Young considered hanging up his shoes altogether. While there were moments here and there where we saw the effective role player he could be last season, the way he was utilized in the Bulls system made little sense, and the dysfunction behind the scenes made it hard for him to provide the kind of leadership he had become known for around the league. Looking at this dunk from last night, much like everything else he accomplished this year, it is ridiculous to think Young wouldn’t be playing professional ball right now.
The big man continues to show fans and front offices alike how much he has left in the tank. He is averaging a career-high 4.4 assists, ranks top-5 in charges drawn, and sits top-20 in total steals. Not to mention, Young has appeared in 62-straight games for the Bulls.
Young’s consistently reliable play earned him two huge career accolades this season, as well. He became one of only 138 players to reach 1,000 career games played, and his two steals on Thursday night vaulted him into the top-50 on the NBA’s all-time steals list.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 7, 2021
Fortunately, while the season has not turned out the way anyone would have hoped, it’s clear Young’s teammates appreciate what he brings to the floor. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have seen everyone freak the freak out when he printed a poster last night.
“They always give a had time talking about how old he is all the time, so that’s generally the topic of conversation there Thad can still get off the floor … I think the guys were happy for him. The guys love Thad. Like said, he’s been a great team guy and a great leader for the group and he has been really good in the locker room with those guys. So I’m sure those guys were happy to see that,” Donovan told reported after the Bulls 120-99 victory.
Every team could use a Thaddeus Young, but not every team has one. That is why the Bulls kept him past this season’s trade deadline, and it’s why we could see the Bulls keep him into next season. At the same time, on a partially guaranteed contract with his value likely still high, a future in Chicago isn’t guaranteed. For more on that …
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) April 28, 2021