Tyler Hansbrough has been considered the Tim Tebow of basketball and vice versa since both players were leading their respective championship teams in college.
The similarities between the two are amazing when you consider they have been polarizing figures among rabid fans and so called experts, both in college and now in the pros. Plus, each plays their respective sport in a unique if not awkward manner that confounds conventional scouts, with an energy and determination that alarms opponents with its unexpected fury.
Tim Tebow didn't even have his own coach and team leaders believing in him as a quarterback to start the season for the Denver Broncos. Then as the season went south with Tebow on the bench, the Broncos turned to the popular backup in a "what the hell" move, likely done to cash in the season for a shot at Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
But instead Tebow has led the Broncos to six wins in seven games as the starting quarterback. He continues to deliver the most entertaining and confounding story of the NFL season, playing less than stellar as a traditional quarterback but finding a way to move the ball when it counts and push the Broncos to close win after close win. Tebow Time kicks in with the game on the line and the clock winding down and there is no plausible explanation for the results, but he gets it done.
Last year, Tyler Hansbrough's role with the Pacers increased after Frank Vogel took over as coach and suddenly he's destroying the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden and the Pacers are headed to the playoffs. Look at T-Brough's numbers overall though, starting with a paltry +/- number and leveling conventional criticism is an easy task.
But like Tebow, dismiss his impact, go ahead and give everyone else a chance, it doesn't matter. Hansbrough will be there, primed and ready to play, focused on how he can help his team win without a worry about what others have to say. The Pacers begin training camp on Friday, after the lockout extended the offseason for a couple of months. An offseason that included speculation on the Pacers primary area in need of improvement being power forward.
Tyler Hansbrough is the Pacers only power forward under contract and I, along with many other team and NBA observers consider Hansbrough's game to be better suited to provide a boost off the bench as opposed to a high-impact starting role. It makes too much sense, right? Great guy, love him on your roster, but... That seems to be the way it is with Hansbrough and again, he doesn't care.
In his arrival video from the Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Mike Wells asked about the Pacers obvious desire to add talent at power forward.
"I'm excited about whoever they bring in here to help the team," Hansbrough said. "That's what I'm about, winning. So whoever they feel like can help us win ball games is who I want on the team. If we get a good power forward, which is where we need help at, I'm wiling to compete and do my role to win."
After a frustrating injury situation ruined his rookie year and an uncertain role limited his opportunities until late in his second year, Hansbrough has to feel comfortable heading into camp completely healthy with a strong understanding of what to expected and what is expected of him.
Hopefully, the similarities between the careers of Tim Tebow and Tyler Hansbrough continue to fall in line and the Pacers can get a little T-Brough Time out of their power forward, that helps push the Pacers in a winning direction even if no one can explain it.