Vegas Summer League Blog: Tristan Thompson

July 19, 2012
by Joe Gabriele Managing Editor

What’s up, Cavalier fans? It’s Tristan, checking in from Summer League!

We’re almost ready to wrap up out here in Vegas. We take on Minnesota on Thursday night and New York on Friday and then back home.

It’s been a great week out here. The team’s playing well and our new-look front court is looking good. I almost can’t wait for the season to start! (Almost.)

I love the opportunity to get an offseason to work with teammates and coaches. Kyrie and I didn’t have that last year. We didn’t really get into the flow until December.

Right now, I think it’s just being able to get comfortable with everyone – having an offseason to relax, in terms of building relationships and being around the coaches. During the season, it’s all about the grind and trying to win games and preparing for the next one. Summer is about building chemistry and working on your game, but not worrying about the grind and just being yourself.

I feel like I already have an excellent relationship with the coaches. We all tease each other and have fun, especially Coach Scott.

Me and Coach Scott always get on each other. It keeps him young. He’s been around a lot of veterans – J. Kidd, Chris Paul, etc. – so me and Kyrie give him some fresh young blood. He likes to call me “Softy” and I call him “Baldy.” He’s clearly bald and his head is shiny, so I call him Baldy. He’s trying to call me soft because sometimes he says I can be too nice on the court (and sometimes I can be feisty). So he likes to pull my leg.

It’s important to have a good relationship with your coaches. It’s important for your growth as a young basketball player – having a coach that you can be personal with and it not always be about the game. It means a lot. It helps you grow as a man and as a player.

Summer League has shown a little bit of what our frontline could be like next season. We have a great rotation going on right now. With the addition of Tyler, and Samardo being in the best basketball shape he’s ever been in, it’s definitely going to help us a lot. We want to get up and down the court. So having Kyrie and Dion and Alonzo on the wings, it’ll make us pretty hard to guard. We’re pretty athletic.

I like getting up and down the floor and a lot of teams aren’t going to want to deal with that. Especially with our big guys. They might be drained out and that’s a good thing. Teams won’t get any plays off as far as our big guys out there running the floor.

It’s been busy out here in Vegas – between games and practices. But I’ve had some time to enjoy myself.

I lived here for a year and a half, so Vegas is just somewhere where I can just hang out and chill. Most people want to visit the Forum Shops or Crystal Mall. But for me, I like to just hang out or go see my coaches. I walked to Forum Shops yesterday just to do something. But it’s not like I’m a tourist. I’m used to this.

I’ve played a little blackjack out here and, so far, I’m up. But I might test my luck. Vegas is also definitely known for its cuisine, so I went to Del Frisco’s steakhouse and got a good meal there. I’m just soaking it all in.

After Summer League, I’m definitely going to go home and visit friends and family in Toronto. But I’ll be in the gym a lot, working out, too.

We don’t have to be at Cleveland Clinic Courts, but I’m going to come back and work out. Me and the coaches will meet up and work out – just staying in basketball shape and staying ready.

The offseason is where you become the player you’re going to be the following year.