Basketball player Theis in the NBA: Suddenly only in the background – sport

It was not even two weeks ago that Daniel Theis had big things to announce. Surprisingly, it wasn’t about basketball, it was about football. Theis, 30, who comes from Salzgitter and is officially considered a supporter of VfL Wolfsburg, joins a football team as the owner. He was “full of anticipation” to become a member of a consortium that wants to help the US second division team Rhode Island FC on the east coast in the future, said the NBA professional via his social media channels.

From 2024 onwards, the club is to play its home games in the town of Pawtucket near Boston, which, according to the current status, would mean Theis had a long journey from his workplace in Indianapolis – according to the current status, that is the decisive insert. Because it is currently unclear whether the German basketball player will continue to do his job under the baskets with the Indiana Pacers in the future. Theis has a problem in his seventh NBA year. Or an opportunity that gives him time to invest in other sports. Depending on your point of view.

In any case, he doesn’t play for his basketball club, especially now that he’s fit again after knee surgery and is about to make the playoffs. Under the direction of former Nowitzki master coach Rick Carlisle, the Indiana Pacers are only mediocre, they can only make it into the knockout round via the “play-in tournament”, a kind of hopeful round shortly after Easter. And Theis tumbled out of the rotation after a meager seven seasons. He didn’t necessarily play badly: seven points and three rebounds on average, which corresponds to what he has always delivered since he came to the league in 2017.

On the one hand, his long injury break, which cost him more than half of the season after the exertion of the European Championships and the bronze medal with the DBB team, is now fatal for the center. On the other hand, the competition in the squad is just too big for a role player like the German. In his place, Carlisle currently tends to trust future players like Jalen Smith, 23, or Isaiah Jackson, 21. Theis, on the other hand, has mostly appeared on the match report sheet in the past few weeks in a way that no professional likes: with the note DNP, did not play.

“I think he absolutely showed that he’s a very good NBA player,” said Carlisle after the German went through his usual routine on his comeback: picking balls away, placing blocks, keeping the shop closed in the back, occasionally in the front Dunk dust or a hit jump shot. The fact that other players get playing time is not due to Theis’ game, according to the coach – but to the general focus of the club on talent development. Because the German big man Had this fate befallen him at his previous stints in Chicago and Houston, the question now arises of a perspective with more playing time.

Theis needs the right environment for his game

Theis is not one to lead a team, he is one for the niche, his game needs the right environment. He always worked best when he was doing special assignments with the Boston Celtics – in his early years in the NBA and during his second stint with the record champions last season. A year ago he was actually allowed to appear in the finals, albeit only briefly. The Celtics lost to the Golden State Warriors, Theis was traded to Indiana.

“Of course we talked about the situation,” says his trainer Carlisle, “if he’s completely healthy, he has every opportunity here.” Theis should be ready, his season is not over yet. For the time being, he is in demand as a mentor and background participant. “He’s really throwing himself into this and is still part of the team.” From a sporting point of view, that may sound worrying, but financially, Theis is doing splendidly. After signing a four-year contract in Houston in 2021 with an annual salary of around $8 million, he is guaranteed similar earnings for a while. Whether in Indiana or elsewhere, that will be seen in the summer. So Theis has time for other activities for the time being – for example in US soccer.

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