Tuesday, August 3

Basketball King’s Cup: Interview with Trey Thompkins: “I have a strange ability to keep calm”


It was not missing! I hate when people say that. l [Nicolo Melli] I jumped, the ball bounced twice, and I fought for the rebound like everyone else. That night in Belgrade, that clueless-looking American forever became the legend of Real Madrid. It was the basket of my life, Trey Thompkins now pronounces on the offensive rebound that was worth a Euroleague, ice in hell of a guy under suspicion who has become essential against the current. Don’t look for fuss, muscle, or e

stridencias, Trey is the success from the serenity and the ‘flow’. During the week of the Cup, he responds to EL MUNDO on the way to a Japanese restaurant in the capital, his favorites. It is hardly lavished, always in the background of the media, although today, based on constancy, it is differential in the

Pablo Laso’s gear

. I constantly tell my friends in the US: the food in Spain is much better, 100%. It’s something you can’t understand until you try it, he jokes about his love for the city where his two children, Charlotte Ryan and Avery Howard were born, and that he already feels on the same level as the Lithonia (Georgia) in which he is I raised 30 years ago: This is home. When he landed in Madrid six seasons ago, little was known about that young pvot who

had shone in the Russian Nizhny Novgorod

. For so long it was the third non-EU member, the one who stayed out of the ACB matches, the one who was about to leave the club on several occasions. Today there are already more than 300 white matches: I would never have dreamed it.

“My time in the NBA marked me”

Because Trey was going to start over. Son of Howard ‘Bones’ Thompkins, a professional player who never played in the NBA, a chubby and huge boy, always accompanied by the glasses that accentuated his good-natured face, he soon began to attract attention and not only because of his size: he had a gift. He finished forging at the prestigious OAK Hill Academy, three years in the Bulldogs of the

University of Georgia

and a jump between expectations to the NBA (37 of the ‘draft’ of 2011). But in the Clippers came the slap of reality, a serious injury, 24 games in two seasons, a 24-year-old talent in the middle of nowhere. It was a microfracture. But honestly, my time in the NBA was incredible, I learned a lot. From the players that I was surrounded by (Chris Paul, Blake Griffin …), seeing how they behaved in their day to day, I learned how to be a professional. That marked the way I am now, he remembers and returns to the smile, a trip to the unknown to relaunch his career: Living in Russia was hard, for obvious reasons [re]. But on the court everything that happened was good. We accomplished much more than was expected of us. I had a lot of fun.

With the passage of time, thanks to his attentive movements, his understanding of the game, his connection with his teammates, his triples as spikes, Thompkins has become a fundamental pillar, even more so with these physical tightness in the face of the Cup. This team is more than ready. And when I say this I mean that we have been through this before, we have gone through moments of doubt in which we were not expected at our best level but

we always find the way

. I believe in our technical body and I believe in my peers. We know how to play and what it takes to win. It is the objective, challenge. Question.- Do you feel the responsibility of being more indispensable than ever? Answer.- I have to do my job, whatever the circumstances. What the team needs from me. This season I am more entertained, for obvious reasons.

When the coaches sing my number, it’s my turn

. Whatever he touches: rebounding, game control, helping the team keep the right direction … Q.- Are you in the best moment of your career? R.- [Duda] Now

I’m playing like I’ve always hoped

. Things go wrong and go well and now I’m in a good moment, happy. Q.- He was never MVP with Madrid … A.- It’s something you don’t expect to receive, you have to earn it and I have a lot of work to do to get it. It will be fabulous, of course, everyone wants to have an MVP trophy on the wall. But not all were magical moments. Two summers ago, to the desperation of the club,

Trey arrived with a few extra pounds and some desire for less.

and Laso kept him away for a few months. I would like to turn a page on that, there are many things that happen to you in life and you have to stay on your feet. I do a lot for my family and sometimes I find it hard and

we need extra time to be together

he admits. And he shows his eternal gratitude to a gesture of those who go beyond contracts and baskets. When in 2018 his mother, Marsha, was going through the illness that sadly ended her life, Thompkins left for the US in the middle of the season with permission and understanding from the club. It was something very special that they did for me. I am very grateful. I always try to do my best to return it. I think that’s why there is such a good relationship, he pronounces. Q.- During this time you have had more powerful economic offers. A.- That’s right. But the first thing is the comfort of my children, of my girlfriend. It may sound crazy but

basketball is not the first thing in life

. For me, if my family is comfortable and I am comfortable, it is above money. That same favorable environment surrounded him when he

the first ACB player to contract the coronavirus, all in March

. Something you prefer not to talk about. In Madrid I met friends like Anthony Randolph and Jeff Taylor. A father like Laso to whom he gives himself in his speech. I don’t want to play for another coach anymore. For the balance we have reached together. We talk a lot, not just basketball, he’s more than just a coach to me.

Asks me to show my smile

, because it infects others, he admits. A bodyguard like Tavares -Edy is the boy [lo pronncia en castellano]. If I make a mistake, I don’t have to worry, he has my back – and a little brother like Doncic, with whom he has a great relationship. We talk all the time. At this moment he is without question one of the best players on the planet, he claims. Q.- Trey, do you ever get nervous on the court? R.- Sure! But

I have my tools to isolate myself when everything is noise around

. And that, strangely, I’m very good at keeping calm, isolating myself, not listening to anything. It may sound crazy, but when everyone is yelling, it means that I have to focus on myself and the things that need to be done to win in that moment. I am very calm, I care about the little things.

Music and tattoos

I consider myself a creative person, I can’t live without music, Trey assures, always with his headphones, even during warm-ups. He composes in his spare time and has already appeared in several video clips. Your profession in the future?

I’m a little old to be a rapper

he jokes. Where he also expresses his art the pvot is on his body, addicted to tattoos. They all mean something, show what I am, count. The most special and the first is one on the left forearm, the lyrics of a Boyz II Men song called ‘Mama’. The next? Surely I tattoo the footprints of my son, on the ribs, so it will be painful, it reveals.

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