Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson has not missed a single game since February of 2012. That is a stretch of 362 straight games in which Thompson has appeared; and when he checked in midway through the first quarter of the Cavs’ loss to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night, he officially set the franchise record for most consecutive games played.
Thompson is also the NBA’s current leader in consecutive games played, by far, after Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan ended his streak at 360 games back in January. And though Thompson still has a long way to go before he can catch A.C. Green, whose streak of 1,192 straight games stands as the all-time record, Thompson’s consistently clean bill of health over his five-year career makes us hesitate to doubt that he’ll get there.
“That’s a lot of basketball, especially with playoffs,” Thompson told ESPN when asked about Green’s record. “Go as long as I can, take care of my body, get treatment, massage, cold tub, whatever it takes to play every game. I’d rather play than wear a suit on the sideline.”
Thompson’s streak is particularly impressive because of the physical nature of his position. The man is a rebounding machine, banging bodies with other big men under the hoop to create fast-break opportunities for his team or second and third chances to score on the offensive end. He has averaged over three offensive rebounds per game for his entire career, and he was a menace on the offensive glass in last season’s playoffs.
That ability doesn’t come without serious work behind the scenes, and last summer Thompson went as hard as ever with his off-season workouts. For six days a week, he trained three times a day, performing on-court work in the morning, weighted core work in the afternoon and one more on-court session at night. He also ran as much as he could to improve his conditioning.
We’re looking forward to seeing how far Thompson can push his already impressive streak.