The Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a relatively slow start to the 2023-24 NBA season and have surged in the Eastern Conference standings. The Cavs are essentially neck and neck with the Milwaukee Bucks for the second seed in the East. The Cavs suffered a disappointing loss on Saturday to the Houston Rockets, but they did get veteran big man Tristan Thompson back from his suspension.

Prior to the game, Thompson spoke about his mindset upon his return as per Chris Fedor of

“When they told me, I was kind of surprised. But it is what it is. Not going to look in the past. The guys have been great. They held it down and supported me,” Thompson said. “I held myself accountable. I told them something happened where I’m going to have to miss some time, so guys have to come in and be big for us.”

Thompson also explained how his role as a veteran leader on the team played a major factor in how he took accountability and explained his suspension to his teammates.

Tristan Thompson was originally suspended back in January due to a violation of the NBA’s anti-drug policy and he last appeared in a game for the Cavs on Jan. 22. In his return against the Rockets, he finished with five points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal in 15 minutes off the bench.

Thompson signed with the Cavs as a free agent in the offseason after having joined the Los Angeles Lakers for their playoff run during the 2022-23 season. He was an important piece of the Cavs 2016 championship team.