Tristan Thompson found himself heading to the locker game on Friday, January 17, after he was ejected for slapping Memphis Grizzlies player Jae Crowder on the backside.
The Cleveland Cavaliers player, 28, was shooting free throws during the third quarter of the Cavaliers’ 113-109 loss to the Grizzlies when Crowder, 29, was subbed out of the game. As the Grizzlies small forward — who is Thompson’s former teammate — was walking to the bench, Thompson reached out and attempted to slap his butt.
NBA referee J.T. Orr gave Thompson his second technical foul for the move and ordered him off the floor. The father of two immediately snapped back at the ref, demanding an explanation.
Thompson and Crowder then exchanged words as their teammates crowded around them. Crowder eventually headed back to the bench, while Thompson continued to yell while being held back by his fellow players and the coaching staff.
Tristan Thompson has been ejected from the game in Memphis. pic.twitter.com/HRja4hntt5
— FOX Sports Cleveland (@FOXSportsCLE) January 18, 2020
The NBA champ eventually jogged back to the Cavaliers’ locker room. He later explained his actions in an interview with Cleveland.com.
“Former teammate of mine. So we have history and it was just a little competitive spirit,” Thompson said on Friday. “They might have taken it the wrong way probably because they forgot that, I don’t know, we were teammates for half the year, so it feels like playing anyone else, like if I was playing Kyrie [Irving] or something. The same thing. They teched us. I’m definitely calling the PA [Players Association] to appeal that — one thousand percent.”
He continued, “Just competitive jawing. Nothing negative. Just got a tech for being former teammates. Guess you can’t talk to your former teammates no more.”
Thompson’s late game scuffle comes as the NBA player is spending more time with his ex-girlfriend, Khloé Kardashian.
The former flames were both in attendance at the annual Kardashian-Jenner Christmas Eve bash in December 2019 and they even snapped a few photos together at the party with their daughter, True, 20 months.
Despite their recent run-ins, a source told Us Weekly that Khloé, 35, has no plans to reconcile with Thompson. “She’s trying to practice self-care and self-love, and integrate Tristan into her life more and more,” the insider told Us in December 2019. “She’s focused on being a great mom to True.”
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!