Tristan Thompson is still confident the Cleveland Cavaliers are the leaders of the Eastern Conference, even after LeBron James’ departure.
The Cavaliers lost James to the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency after the three-time NBA champion led Cleveland to last season’s Finals.
James’ move to the west appears to have opened up the east but Thompson pointed to Cleveland’s four Eastern Conference championship titles as he took a shot at rivals the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors.
“We’re still four-time Eastern Conference champions, so until you take us down from that, teams ain’t got much to say,” Thompson told reporters on Thursday.
“Boston, Philly, they ain’t got much to say. Boston had home court game seven and lost. Philly, you guys almost got swept. Toronto — we know that story.”
At least one player in the Eastern Conference heard Thompson’s comments and responded on social media as Celtics forward Marcus Morris took a shot of his own at the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers are coming off a season in which they made it to the NBA Finals before being swept by the Golden State Warriors, but they did that with James.
After playing four seasons in his second stint with Cleveland, James signed with the Lakers during the offseason.
The Cavaliers will now have to face a young 76ers team and a strong Boston squad, who will have two of their star players back with Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving returning from injuries.