Tristan Thompson's return will ignite debate over retiring his jersey
The Cleveland Cavaliers signed big man Tristan Thompson to a one-year contract this week, reuniting with the toughened playoff vet who spent nine seasons with the franchise.
Why it matters: Thompson is a controversial player among fans, and he now occupies a crucial roster spot on a team with deep postseason aspirations.
- His performance this year could dictate his legacy in Cleveland, and it may tip the scales in the debate over whether to retire his jersey.
The case for TT: Despite his gossip-column escapades off the court, Thompson was a member of the 2016 championship team and a true ironman, appearing in 619 total games.
- That's seventh-most all-time on the Cavs — more than Mark Price, Brad Daugherty and Kevin Love. If he appears in 42 games this season, he would leap to fifth.
Between the lines: Thompson's most potent weapon was offensive rebounding. Though he was never a shooter, he kept hundreds of possessions alive with his hustle and muscle.
- If he grabs 221 offensive boards this season, (a tall order, given his limited playing time), he would surpass Zydrunas Ilgauskas to become the franchise's all-time leader in that category.
The case against TT: Most famous for his relationship with Khloe Kardashian, Thompson rode LeBron James's coattails to four straight NBA Finals appearances and still doesn't know what hand he shoots with.
- With more weaknesses than strengths on the court, he was perhaps the fifth- or sixth-most-important player on the dominant LeBron rosters of the 2010s. The rafters should be reserved for true giants of the franchise.
Of note: Thompson wore No. 13, which is technically currently assigned to Ricky Rubio, who announced this summer that he was taking a break from basketball to focus on his mental health.
What do you think? Should Tristan Thompson have his jersey retired at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse?
- Email [email protected] to let us know.
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