Tristan Thompson, probably one of the most valuable pieces of the 2016 finals team. A man who spent nine years in Cleveland, ferociously battling on both ends of the court for rebounds and being an absolute soldier. Despite being an undersized center and lacking offensive prowess, he did things you can’t find on a stat sheet. His hustle, his competitiveness, his leadership, and playstyle were everything we love in the city of Cleveland.
From the day he got drafted back in 2011, he established himself as one of the best offensive rebounders in the league and showed his ability to guard positions 1-5, bringing versatility and toughness on the defensive end. He would be the perfect center for the Cavs in their battles with the Golden State Warriors, continually going in the paint for rebounds, giving Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love many second chances in the process. His effort will always be remembered in 2016, as he was a crucial cog in the machine to overcome a 3-1 series deficit to win the Cavs their only title in franchise history.
He now leaves Cleveland as one of the franchise’s all-time greats, who undoubtedly will have his number in the rafters one day. Being the franchise leader in consecutive games played, top ten in games played (7th), rebounds (3rd), minutes (8th), and blocks (6th). His impact on the Cavaliers will never be forgotten by a generation of Cavs fans; being an integral piece of the cities first championship in 52 years, he is everything we admire as Clevelanders, hard-nosed, hardworking, blue-collar, and never complaining.
Despite leaving for greener pastures signing with the Boston Celtics, the news still hurts; it almost feels like a piece of me is gone even though he’ll still be young enough to be in the NBA a little longer. He will always be welcomed when he makes his return to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, and if they let fans back in, they’ll give him a 5-minute standing ovation, and recognize everything he has done for the city. Thank you for all that you’ve done in the wine and gold, we will always have 2016!
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