Tristan Thompson: A Look at the Detroit-born NBA Powerhouse
Tristan Thompson has been a powerhouse in the National Basketball Association (NBA) since he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011. The Detroit-born former Texas Longhorn star is widely regarded as one of the most underrated players in the league. From being a consistent double-double machine to a clutch defender, Thompson has been integral to the Cavaliers’ success in recent years. This article dives into the career and accomplishments of Tristan Thompson.
Tristan Thompson was born in Ontario, Canada in 1991. As a child, he moved to Brampton in the Greater Toronto Area with his extended family. After his family’s relocation, Tristan spent his teenage years playing in the Junior Basketball League (JBL) of Canada, where he had great success. He subsequently earned a scholarship to the University of Texas to continue his basketball career.
College Career at the University of Texas
During his college career, Tristan Thompson was an excellent student and athlete. He was a regular in the Longhorns’ starting lineup, playing both forward and center. In 2011, he was named Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year and was also awarded first-team all-conference honors. His junior season was cut short due to a foot injury, but his excellent college career still earned him a spot in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Playing in the NBA
In the 2011 NBA Draft, Thompson was selected fourth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He joined Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters to form the “Big 3” of the Cavaliers. In his rookie year, he received the NBA All-Rookie Second Team honor and was a key contributor to the Cavaliers’ back-to-back playoff appearances.
His hard work and dedication to the game have only been rewarded with more playing time and larger contracts throughout his career. He signed his first max contract extension with the Cavaliers in 2018.
Thompson’s Role with the Cavs
Tristan Thompson’s role with the Cavaliers has been one of consistent production and dependability. He has been a double-double machine for the majority of his career, averaging at least 10 points and 10 rebounds for three consecutive seasons from 2015–18. He is especially known for his clutch defense in the post, allowing the Cavaliers to remain competitive in the playoffs.
Off the court, he has been a leader, mentor, and role model to his younger teammates. NBA legend LeBron James referred to him as a “big brother” following their four-year stint together on the Cavaliers.
Clutch Moments and Final Years with the Cavaliers
Tristan Thompson had two of the most memorable moments of his career while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He had an incredible performance during Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, tallying a double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds. He also hit a clutch 3-pointer with seconds on the clock during the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals.
Thompson’s time with the Cavaliers was finally interrupted due to the team’s roster re-shuffle in 2020. He was traded to the Boston Celtics and then immediately signed with the Houston Rockets for the 2020-21 season.
Defining Career Accomplishments
Tristan Thompson’s impressive career accomplishments includes:
• 4x NBA All-Star (2016, 2018, 2019, 2020)
• 2x All-NBA Third Team (2017, 2020)
• NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2012)
• 2x NBA champion (2016, 2018)
• 2x Eastern Conference champion (2016, 2017)
• Big 12 Conference Freshman Player of the Year (2011)
Tristan Thompson has had a successful and decorated NBA career. He is a consummate professional who has impressed with his leadership, consistent double-doubles and excellent post defense. With 11 season in the league, the Pistons’ native has proven himself as a reliable and indispensable asset all over the court. He is certainly one of the most underrated yet valuable players in the entire NBA.