Thompson bringing lessons from LeBron to young Kings roster originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Tristan Thompson was an integral part of the Cleveland Cavaliers team that upset the 73-9 Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, averaging a double-double in the thrilling seven-game series. After coming to the Kings in an offseason trade, Thompson hopes to bring that championship pedigree to a Kings roster featuring little playoff experience.
“I’m excited to be here,” Thompson told reporters last week (h/t Jason Anderson/Sacramento Bee). “This team has a lot of very talented young players and I’ve been on the other side when me, Kyrie and Dion were in Cleveland and LeBron came back. LeBron brought the energy and kind of brought that hard-work mentality each and every day, and I think it’s only right to take what I’ve learned from him and pass it on to the younger generation and our stars that are coming in this league.
“That’s how you keep this league growing and that’s how you keep the talent at a high level. Vets that learn great things from others and don’t want to pass it on, you’re doing a disservice to our league. It’s a brotherhood and a fraternity, so it’s my job to pay it forward and then when D. Fox and Tyrese and Davion get to my age, they pass it on to the next (generation) and that’s how you keep the league at a high level.”
Thompson isn’t the only member of that 2016 Cavaliers team to have made his way to Sacramento over the years. Iman Shumpert was another critical part of that Cleveland roster, and played 42 games for the Kings during the 2018-19 campaign.