Since starting the 2021-2022 NBA season 5-4, the young Sacramento Kings have hit a skid and lost five of their last six games. There have been rumors of head coach Luke Walton being on the hot seat, but veteran big man Tristan Thompson -- in his first year on the Kings -- isn't buying it.
"No man in this world should rely on another man to inspire them," Thompson said per The Athletic , following the team's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. "You can put that in all capital letters. Me personally, 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."
Thompson has played in 10 of the Kings' first 15 games and is averaging career-lows in points (4.9), rebounds (5.7) and minutes (13.7) per contest.
"Losing teams, losing players, you need to get inspiration from your coach, and I'm not with that s---. My teammates aren't with it because I know guys want to win. ... So it's not about Coach Walton inspiring you, this not no freaking 'Glory Road' s----," Thompson said. "No, you've got to be ready to play. Your number is called, you're in the damn game. I don't need no f------ coach to inspire me. Never have, never will. The day I need a coach to inspire me is the day I'm f------ retiring."
At 6-9, the Kings are currently 11th in the NBA's Western Conference standings. Despite the losing record, Sacramento has a positive average point differential -- albeit barely -- of +0.2.
The Kings will next take on the Toronto Raptors on Friday.