Former Miami Heat point guard and two-time NBA champion Mario Chalmers made headlines recently for making some controversial remarks about LeBron James. And now another of James’ old teammates is coming to the Los Angeles Lakers star’s defense.
The hubbub began last week when Chalmers made an appearance on the Playmaker podcast In Shambles, during which he discussed his time in South Beach. On the subject of opponents having to contend with the Big 3-era Heat, Chalmers dropped a scorching hot take.
“Nobody fears ‘Bron,” he said of players squaring off with James. “Nobody’s like, ‘Damn, I gotta go play against ‘Bron tonight.’ Nobody said that. I don’t know why, because I’ve seen people be scared when they actually line up to him, but they’re not scared thinking about that matchup.”
Having caught wind of Chalmers’ declaration, Tristan Thompson — who won a title with LeBron as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 — clapped back hard during a guest spot on The Draymond Green Show.
Tristan Thompson Has Big Problems With Ex-Heat Champ Mario Chalmers’ Statement on LeBron James
When Green brought up Chalmers’ thoughts on James, it unleashed a tidal wave of thoughts and feelings from Thompson, who very clearly didn’t like what was said.
“That s**t pisses me off, bro. That s**t pisses me off,” Thompson declared with an exasperated expression on his face. “Like, Mario Chalmers — at one point, you were probably texting LeBron to get on a team and get a job. So, because he couldn’t get you a job or get you on a team…”
At that point, the 6-foot-9 big man — who averaged 9.0 points and 8.4 rebounds over an 11-year period through 2021-22 — stopped himself and confessed that he was making some assumptions. However, he wasn’t about to refrain from criticizing Chalmers for appearing to shade someone the point guard had been in the trenches with.
“How can you say that about a guy that you went to war with, who believed in you? There was times where [Dwyane Wade] was on your ass chewing you up, Chris Bosh is chewing your ass but ‘Bron would always push Mario to be better and talk great about him to the media.
“Then you’re gonna come and say no one fears LeBron, like, this is the best player you’ve ever been on the court with… guys be on some sucker s**t.”
Thompson went on to say that “after family and kids and God, winning a championship is probably the next best thing in life” and that there’s a sacred bond that exists — or should exist — between players who accomplish the feat together.
As he sees it, any negativity or criticism from within that group invites even more of it in from the outside.
“People like myself, any of ‘Bron’s teammates; we can’t be the ones to talk bad about ‘Bron because then it further fuels the fire for all these other people that have hate for our brother.”
Heat Move Up in the Latest B/R Power Rankings
Bleacher Report dropped the March 24 update to its NBA power rankings and, after winning four games in five tries and moving to within a game and a half of the No. 5 New York Knicks, the outset saw fit to bump the club into the top 10. After coming in at No. 11 previously, Miami has moved up three spots to No. 8.
Wrote B/R’s Andy Bailey:
It’s long past time to give Jimmy Butler a little spotlight.
After going for 35 points in Wednesday’s win over the New York Knicks, Butler is up to 22.9 points, 5.1 assists and 1.9 steals for the season.
And while the Boston Celtics’ early-season success and the established narrative probably already has First Team All-NBA locked up for Jayson Tatum, Butler should at least be in the conversation to have the second forward spot alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo.