Tristan Thompson slams the 2015 Bulls, claims some of their players ‘quit’ against the Cavs in the playoffs

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David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Former Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson offered a sharp memory of his first NBA playoffs in 2015, saying that some of the Chicago Bulls’ players “quit” during their series against the Cavaliers.

Thompson, who left the Cavaliers for the Boston Celtics in free agency after the 2019-20 season, is now playing for the Bulls.

In that series against the Bulls in the 2015 NBA Playoffs, the Cavaliers dropped two of the first three games before coming back to collect three straight victories.

Games 3 and 4, which were both in Chicago, went down to the final buzzer, with each team winning a game. Game 4’s winning basket came on a clutch shot from LeBron James.

During the 2015 playoffs, the Cavs made it all the way to the NBA Finals, losing in six games to the Golden State Warriors.

Thompson’s first three seasons with the Cavs had been forgettable ones, with the team never coming close to reaching the playoffs.

However, the additions of James and Kevin Love in 2014 sparked a resurgence and began a run of four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. The Cavs, of course, won a title in epic fashion against the Warriors in 2016.

On that 2015 Bulls team were players such as Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah. Since Thompson’s time on the court during that series was largely spent in the paint, his opinion may be be based on players he guarded during that series.

In the end, every player from that Bulls squad will surely discount Thompson’s opinion.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.