Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson has a checkered history with the Golden State Warriors, particularly with big man Draymond Green. Last year during the finals, Thompson and Green were involved in a scuffle at the end of Game 1, and at the conclusion of Golden State’s sweep of the Cavs in Game 4, Green refused a post-series handshake from Thompson.
Then, over the summer, Tristan Thompson reportedly punched Draymond Green at a club after the latter tried to make peace.
However, in spite of all of that, the Cavs big man told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that he has respect for the Warriors’ veterans:
“That’s the one thing about those guys, even though they have some veteran guys, who some people might say are at the later part of their career, but [Andre] Iguodala has always had big games against us in the Finals.” said Thompson. “People always be like ‘He’s not a scorer’ or ‘He doesn’t make free throws.’ Whenever he plays us, he always makes 3’s and he always makes free throws. But that’s what those veteran players who have played in big moments are always ready to play.”
Tristan Thompson did not single out Green, but he did not single out any Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, or Klay Thompson, either, so you just have to assume he is talking about all of them.
He also went on to praise Shaun Livingston and former Warriors vets Marreese Speights and Leandro Barbosa:
“Even Shaun Livingston. He’s bound to have a big game against us in the Finals,” Thompson said. “Everyone says Shaun’s not really a scorer but he comes in and has 17 against us. [Marreese] Speights doesn’t play much, but he comes in and has eight points. You’re like, he doesn’t play all series, comes in and has eight points. Leandro Barbosa. It’s like those guys always have big games. They’re guys were always able to stay ready and you always got to respect that as a competitor that their guys are always ready to go.”
Tristan Thompson is in the middle of his eighth NBA season and is averaging 12 points and 11.6 rebounds per game on the year.