Tristan Thompson and Jae Crowder were briefly teammates together in Cleveland after Crowder was part of the deal that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston, before Crowder was dealt to Utah after 57 games with the Cavs.
On Friday night, the two crossed paths when the Cavs faced the Grizzlies in what ended up being a 113-109 Memphis win, but it was the interaction between Thompson and Crowder that made headlines. The two each received technical fouls for jawing at each other in the first quarter after Crowder drew a block call on Thompson, and in the third quarter, Tristan was ejected after slapping Crowder in the butt as Jae was leaving the floor.
After the game, Ken Mauer explained that there was nothing more that went into Thompson’s ejection and that it was, indeed, “just simply the butt slap,” that got him tossed.
“JUST SIMPLY THE BUTT SLAP” pic.twitter.com/WkVwj4SeRA
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 18, 2020
Thompson, like many, was surprised by the technical fouls, saying that for the first, they didn’t even say anything negative and the second his message to Crowder as he gave him the slap was positive, as he told reporters after the game, per The Athletic’s Kelsey Russo.
“Just competitive jawing. Nothing negative,” he said. “Just got a tech for being former teammates. Guess you can’t talk to your former teammates no more.”
And the second one, that involved the butt slap?
“Told him good work. Keep up the good work. And then they teched me.”
It’s a pretty fantastic line that he gave him a butt tap and said “keep up the good work,” and it’s way more fun to believe him and possible to given that Mauer confirmed the second T wasn’t for anything he said.