In an interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson offered his perspective on the last four years for the Cavs and notably described his reaction to when Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors.
“At the end of the day, Kevin is my brother,” Thompson said. “I remember sleeping on his couch when he was in college and I would come to visit, and he would look out for me and take care of me. So at the end of the day, obviously I was shocked. But at the same time, I know what he wanted in it was to be in a position where he felt like he wanted to be a part of something special. And he saw what they had in Golden State and he wanted to win a championship. At the end of the day, he wanted that ring.”
Both Thompson and Durant attended the University of Texas, and hence share a camaraderie over their alma mater. However, the former did acknowledge that Durant’s move changed the outlook for many teams in the NBA.
“It definitely shook the NBA world,” said Thompson. “I think every team in the West was like, ‘We got no chance.’ But that move worked out for him; he’s got two chips and two Finals MVPs.”
Durant’s move was not taken well by many NBA fans, many whom still use certain nicknames to describe him today. Nevertheless, it is still interesting to see how fans’ perceptions can be very different from players’ perceptions when it comes to evaluating a seismic move like Durant’s.