Tristan Thompson had quite a career in Cleveland before making his way to Boston this past offseason.
The big man played a solid nine seasons with the Cavaliers before joining the Celtics as a free agent. He averaged 9.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and one assist in over 600 games with the team.
Now, Thompson hopes to see his number retired by the Cavs.
“For people in Cleveland, just as a guy who was basically one of them,” Thompson said Sunday, via Cleveland.com. “Blue collar. Hardworking. Punch the clock. Against all odds. People in Cleveland are always looked over. But people in Cleveland are genuine, hardworking, tough, gritty MFs. That’s how I was when I played. I hope people remember me as that. Hopefully one day my jersey is up in that arena.”
Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff watched Thompson’s progression first-hand and thinks he has earned the prestigious honor.
“His number should go in the rafters one day. I think he’s earned that,” Bickerstaff said. “To win a championship, to play the amount of years that he did, participate in as many Finals as he did, I think he means a ton to our organization and should forever be remembered.”
Thompson might play in a new city, but Cleveland “always” will hold “a special place” in his heart. So, the honor would mean a lot to him.
“I felt like I had some amazing years there and did something that not many Cavaliers have ever done — put that banner up,” Thompson said. “At the end of the day Cleveland is always going to be part of my journey and people of Cleveland watched me grow from a young teenager coming out of Texas to a father.”
Thompson feels he’ll “always” have “some 216 in my DNA” no matter what.