BOSTON – When the trade deadline threatened and rumors overtook the NBA, everything Tristan Thompson did could sit at home. Thompson said he had entered into COVID-19, which he said was no joke, forcing him to miss 13 games dating back to March 14th.
There were reports that the Celtics traded him in the trading market. But there was also a rumor that Thompson was reportedly “not loved in the (Celtics’) locker room.” The comments were made on The Ringer̵
Thompson is back on the field and is out of quarantine. He helped elevate the Celtics to a 101-99 victory over the Knicks on Wednesday at TD Garden. He had a chance to tackle the rumors and added all he could do was “laugh” once he heard about them.
“In my 10 years of basketball, I don’t think there’s a teammate who doesn’t like me in the locker room,” Thompson said. “So I knew it was full of shit.”
The Celtics were quick to back up Thompson when rumors swirled. Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker both took to Twitter. C’s coach Brad Stevens also backed the veteran forward when asked about the report.
Brown tweeted a cap emoji, meaning the rumors were not true. Walker – who rarely tweets, as Thompson pointed out, said “we love TT” in his short message.
“It was (O’Connor) just trying to get some clickbaits on my name,” Thompson said. “But I’m used to it. Why not mention my name? Especially when our team is going through an up-and-down season, as everyone is trying to say. So it makes sense to point out one of the better guys. ”
Thompson signed with the Celtics on a two-year contract after spending the first nine years of his career in Cleveland, where he won a championship. He had a slow start to the season but had played well recently until his period with coronavirus. Thompson averages 7.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this season.
While on a one-minute limit, Thompson was solid Wednesday, putting up seven points, eight rebounds and three blocks. He was a team-high plus-24 in 22 minutes, and Stevens noted that his physical character gave them a big boost inside. It was a huge help against a team like the Knicks who are more than willing to make it a tough, tough competition.
With Thompson back, he will help drive up to center depth alongside Robert Williams III. Thompson said he could not be brought down by the negative reports.
“It was a joke and you can ask any of my teammates from 2011, I’ve played in the NBA so far and I do not think there’s a teammate who does not like me,” said Thompson. “Even a coach, equipment guy, ball boy. I have a pretty good report in this league. So I will not let a guy with Twitter fingers try to bring down what I have built down. ”