Tristan Thompson Appreciates Opportunity With Lakers & Expresses Desire To Return Next Season
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

A major rotation change in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals was the insertion of Los Angeles Lakers center Tristan Thompson. The big man signed with the Lakers in early April, though only appeared when games were out of reach in the playoffs.

Thompson was subbed in to start the second quarter of Game 4 and played in 10 minutes and scored four points while grabbing one rebound. He had an even plus-minus and matched up with Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic. Thompson held Jokic to just two points in the 2:38 he spent defending him.

The playoff minutes showed Thompson the importance of staying prepared for whatever opportunity. He offered credit to the coaching staff for keeping him ready.

“For me, it’s just be ready. I give a lot of credit to our coaching staff. First of all, of course, the Lakers franchise and organization for believing in me and bringing me in. Feeling like I was the right fit to help them for what they were trying to do and hopefully, I met their expectations and what they were expecting from me. So a lot of praise and thank you to them for taking a chance with me. But I got to give a lot of credit to the whole staff. I think the stay ready runs were great for a lot of guys on our team. I think it was great for obviously with Lonnie you saw what he was able to do in the Golden State series and just getting himself back in rotation and then playing at a high level for us off the bench, which we needed in the playoffs.

“And then for myself just staying ready for whatever opportunity comes and [Monday] night my number was called. And I just wanted to go out there and compete and just play my game and play hard which is playing hard, competing, defending and just being a pest on both ends. And hopefully, I was able to do that and you know, of course, I wish it led to a victory. So maybe I should have been more of a pest. A bigger pest.”

Thompson spent the 2021-22 season on three different teams before being a free agent for the majority of this season. He added a championship-winning presence during the playoffs, often being seen shouting directions and helping from the bench.

That role interests Thompson, who shared his desire to return to the Lakers next season.

“Yeah I mean I’d love to come back,” Thompson said. “I’d love to be here for training camp. Love to be part of what we’re building here. It’s definitely a role that I embrace. At the end of the day I’m all about winning and Dave you’ve covered me for some time and you’ve been around me and you know my whole thing is about winning. Winning’s number one. Winning trumps everything. So I’m about winning and however, I can help a team whether it’s on the sidelines, whether it’s in the stay ready runs, whether it’s being in the game.

“I’m two feet in for whatever the team needs. So hopefully I’m able to do that again for this team next year because I really loved being here and love what they’re building. So hopefully we can get something done.”

The Lakers’ cap allows them to bring Thompson back on a veteran minimum deal.

Kyrie Irving & Fred VanVleet viewed as names to watch in free agency for Lakers

It will be a busy offseason for the Lakers with high-profile players available, including Kyrie Irving and Fred VanVleet. The Lakers reportedly view those two names atop their free agency list.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Throwback Thursday: Kobe Scores 50-Plus Points In Fourth Straight Game

Kobe Bryant is one of the top players to ever play in the NBA. He wowed us with his array of offensive moves and mesmerized with dazzling performances…

Lakers News: Dwight Howard Discusses Importance Of Separating Business From Personal

One thing that constantly followed Dwight Howard throughout his NBA career whether he was with the Los Angeles Lakers…

Taurean Prince Talks About How Lakers’ Bench Can Produce More

The bench production for the Los Angeles Lakers certainly has been lacking in the postseason, and that goes back to…

Lakers Vs. 76ers Preview: L.A. Attempts To End Skid In Philadelphia

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off their eighth straight defeat, losing to the Brooklyn Nets, 107-97, on Wednesday night…