Thompson: Friendship with LeBron “Out the Window” When on Court

I wasn’t around in Cleveland when LeBron played there. Most fans understand you can’t fault a kid that wasn’t here at that time. [..] Me and LeBron’s relationship is pretty close — he’s like a brother to me. But at the same time it’s a business and we’re going to Miami and trying to win a game. The whole friendship thing is out the window when we get on the court. Whatever [LeBron and I] have going on is between us. The main thing is playing basketball and that’s what we’re here to do.

– Cavaliers rookie power forward Tristan Thompson on his friendship with Miami Heat forward, and long-time Cleveland Cavalier, LeBron James. Thompson is coming off one of his best statistical efforts in this young season, with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting while hitting 4-of-5 free throw attempts.

[Related: Rich Paul Hopes LeBron James and Dan Gilbert Can Patch Things Up]

  • Sometimes I look back at the Jordan/Bird days and I reminisce about a time where you could have respect for your adversary but still dislike him on/off the court.  Those were the days…boy our old LaSalle ran great…

    Sorry, didn’t mean to get all old-school.

  • Anonymous

    There are about 500 players in the NBA who would have given this same response… everyone thinks they are best friends with LeBron and annoyingly enough, that is the new NBA.  There are no personal rivalries anymore.  What these kids don’t know is LeBron would run them down in his Hummer for a statue in Miami depicting his greatness and love for humanity.

  • Yeah, his ego knows no bounds.

    I am reminded of Shelley’s Ozymandius, though:


    All you English literature nerds out there (1, 2 people max) will get this one.

  • JM

    I don’t get it. Are the players and mainstream media missing something? The guy is full of himself. 

  • Harv 21

    Not surprising that kid millionaire ballplayers identify with their peers, and that they would be flattered by LeBron’s attention. Let’s not start the “this player understands us” charade again. The players set us straight about their loyalties in December 2010, when Andy and friends gave LeBron big public huggies and then zero effort in front of a crowd begging for weeks for a statement game.  Don’t ask Kyrie and Tristan to “get” Cleveland. They’re kids raised in the bubble of star jock lives and they’ve been in town maybe 3 months, including road trips. Should they eventually settle here and become a part of the community that’s different. But right now they want to be LeBron. It’s kind of weird that they’re even asked about him, like we’re begging for a comforting response.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t care who likes LeBron and who doesn’t. You can’t expect players to care about the same  things we do, as we learned during the LeBron love-fest at his homecoming last season.