Bulls rookie Tyrus Thomas is among an uninspiring group of players named for the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest (obey your thirst!): defending champ Nate Robinson, Thomas, Gerald Green and Dwight Howard. Yawn.

When asked by Chicago Tribune beat writer K.C. Johnson if he was excited to be the first Bulls player since Scottie Pippen in 1990 to participate in the event, Thomas (above) possibly forgot that reporters with pens and tape recorders typically put these things in stories that appear in major newspapers:

“Not really,” Thomas said. “I’m just going to go out there, get my check and call it a day.”

Asked if an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the game’s greats could be beneficial for a rookie, Thomas kept unlacing.

“I’m just into the free money,” he said. “That’s it. I’ll just do whatever when I get out there.”

That sound you heard was Commish David Stern smacking his forehead. In other words, if he falls down, he’ll still take home more than $16,000 for finishing in fourth.

For the record, Thomas makes a paltry $3.26 million. So can you blame the guy for trying to get a little extra scratch? Maybe he’s got a family to feed.