no they don't mean the same thing... sigh...
strive means to
1 : to devote serious effort or energy : endeavor <strive to finish a project>
2 : to struggle in opposition : contend
thrive means to
1 : to grow vigorously : flourish
2 : to gain in wealth or possessions : prosper
3 : to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances —often used with on<thrives on conflict>
— thriv·er \ˈthrī-vər\ noun
sort of the same, but not really used to mean the same thing... so if he STRIVES to be a better player then he and the Raptors
will THRIVE as a team...