NBA Q&A: Tristan Thompson

Posted by Unknown on Friday, May 31, 2013 with No comments
Courtesy of Ryan Wolstat  

Q: You’re in Oakville helping to launch Healthy Me Week. What’s it all about and why is community/charity work so important to you (Thompson was one of seven finalists for the prestigious J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award this season, given annually by the Pro Basketball Writers Association to the player, coach, or trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community. He has given out turkeys and groceries, raised money for a number of charities and has made numerous appearances in the Cleveland area, as well as back home).
A: “It’s really just going out, promoting young kids to get out, be fit and really just to be active. We go about it in a step mode: Get up – which means be active and get outside. Fuel up – Which is eat a well-balanced meal which is really important, especially for young kids. You want to make sure they have all the nutrients, eating right, eating healthy. And own up – be motivated and make it happen.
Without the community, as pro athletes, we’re nothing, so I feel it’s important to give back and definitely connect with supporters the fans and the people that help us earn our living. I think it’s important and just seeing the smile on the kids’ faces and just hanging out with them because they don’t get that every day, they don’t get a pro athlete walking through their community centre and spending two hours with them hanging out.”
Q: What’s your plan for the summer?
A: “Just in Cleveland continuing to work out, we’ve got a new coach (Mike Brown, replacing Byron Scott) so will be learning his system, what he wants to do and where he wants to take this team. Work on my game. As a young player I should be going all summer getting ready for next year.” (Thompson said he will be in Las Vegas taking in summer league, but doesn’t plan on playing again this year).
Q: What has the coaching change been like?
A: “It’s been exciting whenever you get a new coach it’s an effort. It’s something that we’re excited about, coach Brown has a great resume, he’s accomplished a lot in this league, he’s been a coach of the year and won 60+ games numerous times so, him coming back, getting his mentality and mindset is something that we’re looking forward to and getting the ball rolling.”
Q: What was your reaction to the Cavs winning the No. 1 pick again (after securing Kyrie Irving in 2012, three picks before Thompson)?
A: “(Laughing) Nick Gilbert’s got that secret touch I guess. That was great for the city and the organization, they deserve it, got the best fans in the NBA adding another pick will help us move forward.”
Q: There is talk the pick could be traded, do you have a preference between getting another young guy or some veteran help?
A: “No, that’s for the GM. That's Chris Grant’s, that’s his job title. He dictates who is on the team and who we get. I’m going to leave that up to him. For me, I’m going to continue playing and whoever we are able to get I’ll just bring him in with open arms and get ready to work.”
Q: (Said jokingly) Are you jealous at all of Cory Joseph being in the final? (Joseph, the San Antonio Spurs guard from Pickering is a close friend of Thompson’s and former high school, AAU and college teammate).
A: “No, not at all, I’m excited for him, I’m happy. He deserves it, he worked hard and he’s on a great team with great veterans and a great coach. I’m excited for him and I’m definitely going to go check him out in the finals.
We’ve all got different paths in life. That’s the adversity of becoming a pro. Things don’t always go your way, Cory’s adversity, his test was going to the D-League. For me, it’s being on a team that we didn’t make the playoffs the last few years and now it’s just make the playoffs. We’ve all got different ways to deal with adversity as pros, but if you want it and you want to be great, you’ve got to make it happen and fight through it.”
Q: You’re in contact with Myck Kabongo (another childhood friend and former teammate) often as he goes through the workout process, what’s he been saying about it? (Kabongo, from Toronto, is currently working out for prospective teams)
A: “I’m just telling him to play his game and do what he’s been doing and show what he can do. Go out there and compete.
He says he’s doing well, doing his thing and that’s all you can ask. Competing and playing hard.”
Q: Are there any Brampton bragging rights up for grabs at the draft next month since Anthony Bennett has a shot at challenging your record of being the highest-drafted Canadian ever?
A: “Records are meant to be broken, if Anthony is fortunate to go past four or be at four, I’m going to be happy for him. I just want the best situation for any of the young Canadians, it’s not about the pick or the number, it’s about the best fit and the best situation. Whatever pick Anthony, or Kelly (Olynyk), or Myck go, as long as it’s the best fit for them, I’ll be happy.”
Q: And I guess you all know Andrew (Wiggins) is going to go No. 1 next year anyway?
A: “Yep, there it is.”
Q: What’s the plan where Canada is concerned this summer?
A: “Right now I’m just working on July and June. But I’m definitely talking with team Canada and we’ll figure something out, what’s going on with them. It’s still early, so everything’s still in the works. We will get the dates. I know that the world qualifiers are coming up (FIBA Americas Championship tips Aug. 30-Sept. 11 in Venezuela), so we’ve got to get a piece of that.”