As the Golden State Warriors dominate and the L.A. Lakers prepare for the return of LeBron, California's other team is struggling to keep its head above the water.
In Sacramento, the 6-9 Kings have lost 7 of their last 10 games, seemingly on pace for another campaign in the Western Conference bunker.
And after their latest loss, veteran big man Tristan Thompson couldn't help but show his frustration, letting off some steam in his post-game presser about not needing outside inspiration:
“It’s not about Coach Walton inspiring you,” Thompson told the media (via Matt George of ABC10). “I don’t need no f–king coach to inspire me – never have, never will. The day I need a coach to inspire me is the day I’m f–king retiring. I speak with my teammates with that quote. We don’t need a coach to inspire us.
This is the NBA. No one’s going to feel sorry for you,” Thompson said, per Jason Anderson of sacbee.com. “C-Webb and 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 your mistakes.”
Thompson, 30, knows what it takes to win. As an important member of Cleveland's 2016 Championship run, he's been on the Championship state before.
On this young Kings team, he has his work cut out for him trying to help establish a positive, winning culture in the locker room, especially considering the dynamic that exists between Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox.
Nevertheless, it seems like he's already on the right track.
After dropping another, very winnable game, he was fired up, taking on his role as the team's veteran and tone-setter.
Regarding what comes next, that much remains to be seen. But Thompson is going to do whatever he can to ensure the Kings stay competitive all season long