NBA fans better not play with Tristan Thompson.
Thompson spoke ahead of Friday’s Game 3 of the Celtics-Nets series about the recent spate of incidents between fans, and the big man from C made it clear that spectators had better not try anything like what has been seen. elsewhere at the start of the 2021 NBA playoffs.
“I dare a mother to spit on me,” said Thompson, by CLNS Media. “I’ll follow you home.”
Considering that Thompson is 6-9 and weighs 254 pounds, it would likely be in the best interest of the fans to avoid angering him.
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Boston is home for the next two games in the series, so it doesn’t seem likely that TD Garden fans will go after their own player.
Still, Thompson felt the need to get that message across after a Knicks fan spat at the Hawks Trae Young in Game 3 of the New York-Atlanta series on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks have banned the fan from the arena. Young’s incident was only the latest in the NBA playoffs.
The 76ers on Wednesday banned a Wells Fargo Center fan from throwing popcorn at Wizards goaltender Russell Westbrook as Westbrook made his way to the locker room. Jazz have banned several Vivint Arena fans from making racist and vulgar comments at the family of Grizzlies goalie Ja Morant during the first two games of the Jazz-Grizzlies series.
The topic received a lot of attention in Boston after Nets goalie Kyrie Irving called fans ahead of Games 3 and 4, accusing them of “subtle racism.”
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Thompson was asked if he said anything “racial” to him when he was with the Cavaliers.
“Yes, of course, definitely,” said Thompson, by Dan Roche from WBZ. “I mean, I think that’s what makes Boston fans special, not the racist part, but the part that they’re very into the game and they want to be the sixth man on the pitch with how they can. get under our skin and taunt I’ve certainly heard guys say crazy stuff, but I think they’re just trying to do this to try in the player’s head and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
“At the end of the day, my experience, personally, being a Celtic, no one has said anything racial to me as a player.
“As a visitor it’s a different story. But I mean, if they choose to use those kinds of words to get a player’s attention, it’s just their home training and the lack of home training is what my mom would say. So for us, me being a Celtic now, they were great, they hugged me with open arms and supported me. So I hope that they can be strong tonight and be a huge one for us in the crowd tonight.
Thompson’s story isn’t exactly the same as that of teammate Marcus Smart, but it also runs counter to Celtics president Danny Ainge, saying he “never heard” players complain of racism during his 26 years with the organization.
But as Thompson said, there’s hope fan antics similar to other games won’t be on display at TD Garden on Friday.
If so, then Thompson might have a problem.