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Having been with the Bulls for less than a month, Tristan Thompson is proving loyalty to his new team with fierce words for Bucks guard Grayson Allen.
Tristan Thompson was a part of the landmark Pacers-Kings trade package that sent Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield to Indiana, but within nine days, Thompson was already back on the market. The Bulls swooped in and scooped him up on Feb. 19, and in early March, Thompson is already getting himself involved in past Bulls beefs.
In January, Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Grayson Allen fouled beloved Chicago Bulls point guard Alex Caruso. Caruso’s wrist injury was so severe that he has been sidelined ever since, with the expectation that he will miss 6-8 weeks after undergoing wrist surgery. Although Allen alleged that the foul was unintentional, he became an enemy of the Bulls, which now includes Thompson.
Ahead of their March 4 rematch, Thompson warned Allen and the Bucks that if they try the Bulls with him on the team, they could expect to have issues with Thompson.
“I like a little blood and sweat,” Thompson told media. “I enjoy it.”
Tristan Thompson sends message to Grayson Allen, Bucks, about dirty plays
Although Thompson arrived about a month after the incident, the Bulls center told the Chicago Tribune that it “brought out an edge in his fellow Bulls players.”
“You’ve got to set the the tone,” Thompson said. “That’s what Bulls basketball’s about: setting a tone. What he did affected one of our guys and I don’t think anyone should forget about that.”
The Caruso injury hurt the team’s defense, with the formerly 17th ranked defense with a 109.6 defensive rating now sliding to 20th with a 115.5 rating in the weeks without Caruso. Still, Bulls head coach Billy Donovan made it clear that he doesn’t want his players focusing too heavily on past transgressions.
“I think we’ve got a lot more things we should be focused on as a team,” Donovan said. “I would expect our guys are professional and they’ll handle themselves the right way. … Everybody’s disappointed that Alex had to sit out for this period of time, but we’ve got to keep our mindset focused.”
For now, Thompson hasn’t indicated that he will be anything less than professional—but if Allen tries that again, expect a battle to break out on the hardwood.