Cleveland Cavaliers veteran power forward/center became the fourth player in franchise history on Friday night to reach 5,000 rebounds, per CavsNation’s Kenny Honaker.
— Kenny Honaker (@CavsNationKen) November 30, 2019
The Cavs, matched up with the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, saw their nine-year veteran Thompson achieve his career milestone, with only LeBron James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Brad Daugherty ahead of the Canadian big man. Thompson, at 28 years old, is an expiring contract at the end of the 2019-20 season, and with Cleveland going young and rebuilding, some have speculated it could be his final season with the Cavs.
The former fourth-overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft has had an accomplished career in a Cavaliers jersey if this is it. Now the fourth-best rebounder in team history, Thompson was also a core member of the 2015-16 championship team that delivered the Larry O’Brien trophy to northeastern Ohio.
Thompson recently defended former teammate point guard Kyrie Irving, who was booed by the Boston Celtics as the Brooklyn Nets visited Beantown on Wednesday in spite of the one-time champion with the Cavs’ absence from the game.
“My brother. Great teammate,” Thompson said of Irving, via cleveland.com. “At the end of the day, if I’m going to go to war, need a dog, MF that can go and hoop I’m definitely going to put him on my team.
“I mean, the chatter is for you guys to talk about,” Thompson added. “Teams lose a couple of games and they say the same things about us — what’s going on and blah blah blah. It’s just chatter. At the end of the day, when that untucked Kyrie jersey is out, everyone is scared.”
If this is the end of the line for Thompson and the Cavs, the big man will certainly be remembered fondly for his contributions through nine years in Cleveland.