FACT: Tristan Thompson cheated on Khloe Kardashian will multiple women.
FACT: Tristan Thompson did not play any meaningful minutes for the Cleveland Cavaliers in their first two playoff games since news of this scandal broke.
RUMOR: Fact number-two is a direct result of fact number-one.
You've likely read this rumor all over the Internet, haven't you?
Multiple celebrity gossip websites out there are trying to allege that Cleveland Head Coach Tyronn Lue has determined that either:
1. Thompson has become so much of a distraction, due to his off-the-court behavior, that he would negatively effect the team on the court.
2. Thompson does not deserve to see any playing time as punishment for stepping out on at least two occasions on his baby mama.
But are either of these statements true?
Would LeBron James actually risk a shot at his fourth NBA title because a teammate slept with a few Instagram models?
The truth is that Thompson only averaged 20.2 minutes per game this season, about seven-and-a-half minutes fewer per game than his career average.
He lost his spot in the starting lineup before the opening game even tipped off, as Coach Lue decided to start Kevin Love at center in order to optimize the offensive spacing on the court.
Thompson never seemed to recover from the slight.
He averaged a career-low 5.8 points per game in 2017-2018 and essentially tied for a career low by only averaging 6.6 rebounds per game.
Moreover, Cleveland made-over its roster almost entirely at the February trade deadline, acquiring four new players, including Larry Nance Jr.
Nance is a younger and more athletic version of Thompson, playing basically the same position, but doing so with more energy and with a higher shot-blocking rate.
In other words:
Thompson saw his minutes decline throughout the season, and then saw them take a precipitous drop once Nance Jr. joined the team.
The power forward only played 15 combined minutes in the third-to-last and second-to-last games of the season, prior to racking up nearly 30 minutes in the final regular season contest...
... only to end the game with plus/minus of -24. Against the awful New York Knicks, no less!
Thompson is simply an anachronistic basketball player.
Yes, he signed a five-year, $82 million contract as recently as 2015, but the league since then has emphasized three-point shooting and spacing on offense.
Thompson plays for a team that employs arguably the best driver and best passer in basketball.
Someone who cannot shoot from outside three feet simply clogs the lane for James, who is at his most unstoppable when his squad spreads the floor and gives him many options to whom he can pass.
The game has mostly passed Thompson by.
This may explain why he didn't care about partying all night in early April with some random side piece, allegedly taking her back to his hotel room very early in the morning to have unprotected sex.
If he's not gonna see any action between the lines that week, why not stay awake for awhile and see some action between the sheets, right?
With the Cavs playing the Pacers, who start Myles Turner at center, we doubt we'll see much of Thompson at all this series.
Turner shot over 35% from three-point range this season and would drag Thompson away from the basket, mitigating Tristan's one supposed skill: rebounding.
And if Thompson isn't camped out under the basket boxing out opposing players, there's really no point in having him on the court.
In closing, Tristan Thompson may be riding two to five side pieces these days, but that's not why he's riding the pine for Cleveland.
He simply isn't very good at modern NBA basketball