Tristan Thompson Expresses Frustration After Kings’ Latest Loss

The Kings lost for the fifth time in six games on Wednesday night, dropping to 6-9 on the season and 1-3 on a road trip that included games in San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Detroit, and Minnesota. After the game, veteran center Tristan Thompson expressed frustration with the results of Wednesday’s contest and the road trip as a whole, as Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee relays.

“The reality is this road trip should have been a 4-0,” Thompson said. “I was going on this road trip planning on going 4-0. The teams that we played against — OKC, they don’t want to win games. They want to rebuild. Everyone f—ing knows that. The Spurs, they have all young guys. They’re trying to figure it out. They have damn near eight guys that all play the same position. They’re trying to figure it out.

“… The Timberwolves, they’ve got names, but are they trying to win? Roll the dice, see what happens, figure out their roster. Detroit, they do not want to win. They want another top-three or top-five pick, and that’s no disrespect to the players on their team. They’re going to play hard and give it everything they’ve got, but at the end of the day, I know how this league works and I know how the front office works. … These are the games you have to win if you’re trying to be in the playoffs, or be in the play-in game, these are the wins you have to capitalize on.”

A report earlier this week indicated that head coach Luke Walton is facing increasing pressure and that his job will likely be in jeopardy if the Kings’ slump continues. However, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Thompson dismissed the idea that it should be Walton’s responsibility to motivate Sacramento’s players.

“I think no man in this world should rely on another man to inspire them, point blank, period,” Thompson said, per Anderson.” You can put that in all capitals. Me personally, no one should ever need a coach to inspire you. If you don’t get inspired in a game, then you shouldn’t be on the court.

“Losing teams, losing players, you need to get inspiration from your coach, and I’m not with that s–t. My teammates aren’t with it because I know guys want to win and they want to win badly, so it’s not about Coach Walton inspiring you. This is not no freaking ‘Glory Road’ s—. … I don’t need no f—ing coach to inspire me. Never that. Never have. Never will. The day I need a coach to inspire me is the day I’m f—ing retiring. I’m going to go play with my kids in the park.”

Thompson ranks just 10th on the Kings in minutes per game and he has been a DNP-CD in a handful of games this season. However, the 30-year-old has a championship ring and is one of the veteran leaders on a team whose key players – including De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Davion Mitchell – are relatively young.

Thompson made it clear on Wednesday that he believes in his teammates and that his frustration stems from a belief that the Kings have enough talent to be better than they’ve been so far. The big man said that everyone’s “heart is in the right place” and that they badly want to win, but they need to cut down on mistakes to make it happen.

“We’ve just got to come together and we’ve just got to really learn from those mistakes and really make sure we make it a priority,” Thompson said. “And it’s all of us. Me, too. … We’re all at fault here. From the top to the bottom, we’re all at fault. We’re in this together.

“… I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that we keep pushing. No one’s going to feel sorry for you. This is the NBA. No one’s going to feel sorry for you. C-Webb (Chris Webber) and (Mike) Bibby ain’t coming through that door, so you’ve got to keep pushing each and every day, keep getting better in practice, keep watching the film, learn from the mistakes. If we all can just get 1% better each and every day, then we’ll get our fair share of wins.”

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