Tristan Thompson's Player Mailbox

November 20, 2012
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Tristan Thompson
Rocky Widner/NBAE/GettyImages

Tristan Thompson is off to a solid start in his sophomore season – back at his natural position and playing next to Anderson Varejao, the big man from Texas has posted double-doubles in his last two contests.

The affable Toronto native took a minute from practice to answer this week’s Player Mailbox – where Tristan took your questions and is ready with his responses, covering issues ranging from Canadian basketball to his NBA2k skills to his three-point shooting skills in high school.

Enjoy …

Full Name: Prince F.
City: Brampton
State: ON
Comments: Hi, Tristan. I was just wondering what are your overall thoughts on the progress and development of Canada basketball in the past couple of years and the foreseeable future? Do you think the Canadian Senior men's national teams qualifies for the 2016 Olympics? Last but not least, what do you think about our countrymate Andrew Wiggins and his potential?

Tristan Thompson: This is from my hometown!

We’re definitely on the rise. I feel like we’re taking the right steps to becoming a contender in the world. This summer, we had World Qualifiers and I think we have to finish top four to go to Worlds, but I think the team we have is young but we’re very talented. So I’m very excited about Canada’s future.

Andrew Wiggins – he’s going to be great. He’s like my brother’s age – so he’s really young. But I’ve known the kid for a while. He’s talented, very athletic. Now it’s a matter of turning that potential into a reality.

Full Name: William Gruaper
City: Cuyahoga Falls
State: Ohio
Comments: Have you ever made a 3-pointer in a game?

Thompson: Yes, I actually have made a three-pointer in a game. In ninth grade, I made three threes in a row and we beat the no. 1 team in the state in Toronto.

It was at the beginning of the game. I came out hot – shooting. They had some big guys – like some 6-9 players. So I was like: ‘Alright, I’m gonna stretch them out.’ And I shot three threes on them.

I’ve never shot one in college and definitely not in the pros.

Full Name: Jeremy Wilson
City: Charlotte
State: North Carolina
Comments: Tristan, what part of your game comes the easiest to you?

Thompson: I think just running the floor and finishing around the rim. That’s pure hustle, and God’s given me this athletic ability which helps me a lot.

But that’s the easiest part of my game right now.

Full Name: Aaron Teesdale
City: Melbourne
State: Victoria, Australia
Comments: Hey Tristan, how has training and playing with such an active and high energy player in Andy Varejao helped with your development?

Thompson: Playing with Andy, with him having such a great motor, it just keeps me going. Having some rebound like that and being so active, you have to keep up with him or it looks like you’re not working hard.

So having Andy on the court just helps me become a better player.

Full Name: Abraham Tanbouz
City: Sydney
State: N.S.W
Comments: What is your favorite thing to do after a basketball game ?

Thompson: My favorite thing to do after a basketball game is eat. I’m starving after a game!

I’m so hungry, I’m waiting for that meal on the plane or the meal that the team provides after the game. My favorite postgame food is probably some chicken fingers.

I’ll go out and do the nightlife sometimes. But sometimes I like to keep it simple.

Full Name: Jared Michaels
City: Cincinnati
State: Ohio
Comments: Hey Tristan! Really important question here! Who is the best nba2k player on the team?

Thompson: Who’s the best nba2k player on the Cavs or who’s the best Cav on nba2k.

The best Cavalier on nba2k is me, of course. I’m the best player in NBA 2k – I was killing it as myself. I had 81 (points) as myself in a video game! I was dunking and making mid-range jumpshots. I love myself in the video game! I’m pretty good.

Yeah, I play as myself – Tristan Thompson. I worked really hard to get to this point, so I play as myself in video games.

Full Name: Artie Negron
City: Cleveland
State: Ohio
Comments: Now that you're a sophomore, what are some of the things you and the team make the rookies do as part of their initiation?

Thompson: To be honest, the Cavaliers are not that bad as far as rookie initiation. The worst thing we do is make the rookies get donuts and sometimes carry the bags.

But this year, Dion and Tyler have little girlie pink backpacks that they have to carry. But it’s not too bad. It gets them some attention.

Full Name: Shannon
City: Youngstown
State: OH
Comments: Hey, Tristan! Are there any players who you get nervous about going up against?

Thompson: I don’t think ‘nervous’ is the word. It’s more ‘anxious.’ When you go against some of the All-Star players in this league – the Amar’e Stoudemires the Chris Boshes, the Dwight Howards – you get excited for those matchups because you want to see how you stack up against them.

So it’s not nervous, it’s anxious and excited to play against them.

Full Name: Chad Mobley
City: Coshocton
State: Ohio
Comments: What player did you watch growing up to learn your position and mold your game after? And secondly, how much better looking and smarter would you say you are than Kyrie?

Thompson: Growing up, I watched a lot of Kevin Garnett and Chris Bosh – obviously because Chris Bosh played in Toronto and especially me being a lefty like him. So it was easy to try to compare.

As far as the second part … I’m ten times better-looking than Kyrie – a/k/a “Raccoon Man.” Even with the busted nose I’m better looking than these guys.

In terms of being smart, Kyrie’s a smart guy. He went to Duke, so he’s got to have something up in that noggin. But we’re two bright, intelligent young men and we’re trying to get better every day.