John Beilein and Kevin Love Applaud Tristan Thompson for Taking on Leadership Role This Season

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Tristan Thompson has been a revelation for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season.

Not only has the veteran big man notched a double-double in all but two of the Cavs’ 10 matchups, he has also assumed a crucial role of leadership amongst a roster filled with young talent.

In Sunday night’s dominant 108-87 win over the New York Knicks, Thompson failed to record his usual double-double and finished with just nine points and nine rebounds. Despite that, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic recognized Thompson’s huge impact on the game.

“Even when Thompson was not on the floor, he was seen on the bench supporting his team,” she wrote. “During the third quarter with five minutes to play, as Larry Nance Jr. was called for a foul, he was seen standing and clapping his hands. As Cedi Osman went up for an easy layup, he stood up and clapped again as the Cavs headed back down to defend.”

Russo isn’t the only one who has recognized Thompson’s value; fellow veteran Kevin Love and Cavs head coach John Beilein have too.

“Tristan has done a great job leading this team as well,” Love said. “Taking those guys under our wings and continue to have open communication and dialogue. I think that’s really helped them and it’s helped us as well.”

Beilein went even further, naming Thompson as an unofficial member to his coaching staff.

“Tristan is the second coach, as far as accountability and all those things,” Beilein said.

Thompson has spent his entire NBA career on the Cavs since being selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. While his current contact expires at the end of this season, he may be setting himself up for another contract extension with all of the value he has displayed on and off the court.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Cavaliers Nation.