A sudden switch. One week after Tristan Thompson joined the Indiana Pacers, coach Rick Carlisle claimed that the athlete is heading to the Chicago Bulls.
“He’s going to be joining a different team,” the coach told reporters after a Wednesday, February 16, game. “He’s going to be waived tomorrow, and he’ll be joining a contending team in the East. A little bit north, if anybody wants to tweet. Starts with a ‘C’ and ends with an ‘O.’ … Chicago, if anybody didn’t get that.”
Thompson, 30, joined the Indiana team on February 8, and he has played four games for the Pacers.
“We thanked him for what he’s brought for the last six or seven days,” Carlisle went on to say. “He brought a high level of professionalism and he’s done a really good job. I don’t mind announcing it because it’s going to happen and what the heck. There’s nothing wrong with speaking the truth. It’s the rare instance where you get to thank a guy in the presence of his teammates. And these guys have an awful lot of respect for who he is and what he’s accomplished in the league.”
The Canada native previously played for the Sacramento Kings, joining their team in an August 2021 trade after a brief stint with the Boston Celtics. (Thompson began his NBA career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, his team from 2011 to 2020.)
Rumors swirled that the athlete’s time on the California team was up when he was benched during a game on January 4. The career shakeup came after Thompson made headlines for his paternity lawsuit with Maralee Nichols.
The fitness model originally filed a child support case against Thompson in June 2021 where she alleged that the former reality star is the father of her baby. In his court response, the NBA player acknowledged that he hooked up with Nichols on his 30th birthday in March 2021. Thompson, who was dating Khloé Kardashian at the time of his interactions with Nichols, requested genetic testing to prove that he fathered the child.
During the legal battle, alleged text messages surfaced that claimed Thompson told Nichols that he was planning to retire in 2022.
“You know how I feel. My feelings haven’t changed at all. [I] won’t be involved at all,” he allegedly wrote. “Btw if you think having this baby is gonna make you some money. It’s completely wrong. You are aware that I’m retiring after this season. So in terms of support it will be whatever is required monthly for someone who’s unemployed.”
“Today, paternity test results reveal that I fathered a child with Maralee Nichols. I take full responsibility for my actions,” Thompson, who shares a 5-year-old son with ex Jordan Craig, wrote via Instagram Stories on January 3. “Now that paternity has been established I look forward to amicably raising our son.”
The former Cleveland Cavaliers player, who also shares 3-year-old daughter True with Kardashian, 37, apologized to the reality star, noting, “Khloé, you don’t deserve this. You don’t deserve the heartache and humiliation I have caused you. You don’t deserve the way I have treated you over the years.”
Thompson concluded: “My actions certainly have not lined up with the way I view you. I have the utmost respect and love for you. Regardless of what you may think. Again, I am so incredibly sorry.”
“He wants to win her back, but she will never take him back romantically after learning about his cheating,” the insider revealed. “This was the final straw.”