NICs AND NETWORK HARDWARE:
NIC is create for one kind of physical network. For example Ethernet interface may not be needed with token ring and similar ATM interface cannot be needed with FDDI.
Some NICs may be used with different but same type hardware for example thin, thick and 10 Base-T Ethernet100Mbps, and 10Mbps Ethernet.
CONNECTION BETWEEN NIC AND PHYSICAL NETWORK:
NIC have all circuitry and connects directly to network phase. A cable from NIC joins to additional circuitry that then attaches to the network phase.
THIN ETHERNET VERSUS 10BASE-T:
Thin Ethernet and 10Base-T are type of Ethernet. The network method is not limited to one kind of connection.