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#pounditFriday, April 12, 2024

No, Kings player was not dissing Luke Walton with fiery comments

Luke Walton

One Sacramento Kings player rolled up his sleeves and went in after the team’s latest loss, but it was not directed towards head coach Luke Walton.

The Kings blew an early lead to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday to lose for their fifth time in six games. After the game, Kings center Tristan Thompson went viral for some fiery remarks after being asked if the team needed more inspiration from Walton.

“No man in this world should rely on another man to inspire them,” he said, per the New York Post. “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. I’m not with that s–t. My teammates better not be with it.

“It’s not about Coach Walton inspiring you,” Thompson went on. “This is not no freaking ‘Glory Road’ s–t. You better be ready to play. Your number’s called in a damn game, I don’t need no f–king 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–king retiring. I’m a go play with my kids at the park.”

Thompson’s comments quickly circulated on social media, particularly the part about “need[ing] no f–king coach to inspire me.”

Many interpreted it as a shot at Walton, but that was not the case. Kings reporter Matt George, who attended Thompson’s press conference, said that his comments were more so about getting the players to take accountability instead of relying on their coach.

The Kings are now 6-9 on the year, and Thompson’s comments were surely magnified because of recent rumors that Walton’s job is in jeopardy. But seeing this as a diss of Walton would be the wrong interpretation entirely.

Photo: Mar 5, 2020; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton reacts to a call during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

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