Celtics fans love the type of player Marcus Smart has become since his arrival in Boston six years ago.
They enjoy his intensity, his defense-first mentality and the way he works every time he steps on the floor. If only there were more players that fit that same bill, right?
Enter: Tristan Thompson.
“I think Smart is a bulldog and has done a great job since he has come here on Day 1 of not backing down against anyone,” Thompson told reporters during a media availability Thursday. “I think he’s done that awesomely at the guard position, and I think for me, at the big position, it’s bringing that same energy.”
Thompson, as you certainly have heard, signed a two-year deal with the Celtics as a free agent. He played his nine previous years with the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning one NBA title and recording a double-double of points and rebounds each of the last two seasons.
“Playing against (the Celtics), you guys saw me enough to see how I play, and I’m going to play the exact same way,” Thompson said. “When I was a Cleveland Cavalier, playing against you guys in the regular season or postseason, I’m going to bring the same grittiness and toughness.
“I think my energy is going to ignite the team, and that’s what he was saying to me,” Thompson added, regarding his conversation with head coach Brad Stevens. “That I’ve gotta be the motor that jump-starts the team to get going. I’ve always had that role and I’ve been like that since day one. So coming in, I want to play harder than the bigs that I’m going against. Whoever I’m playing against, play harder than them and that’s contagious.”