Video of Tristan Thompson yelling on bench is the leadership Bulls need

Tristan Thompson, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY
Tristan Thompson, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY /

In the Bulls’ nail-biting win over the Pistons, Tristan Thompson went viral for his behavior on the bench.

The Chicago Bulls entered the week in the midst of a season-long five-game losing streak. Four of the five losses were to elite teams, with the outlier being an underachieving Atlanta Hawks squad.

The Bulls snapped that drought against the 18-48 Pistons, but it wasn’t the game most expected. The Pistons were riding a three-game winning streak, but still don’t have the firepower the Bulls possess. Regardless, with eight minutes left in the game Pistons were up seven.

Missed assignments and poor shot quality put the Bulls in a hole early on. Things hit the fan after Pistons guard Hamidou Diallo slammed home a put-back dunk following a miss by rookie Cade Cunningham. That put the Pistons up seven and the Bulls in jeopardy of their worst loss of the season.

Veteran center Tristan Thompson was not having it.

Tristan Thompson’s veteran leadership on the Bulls will be key

Thompson went viral for his emphatic speech on the bench, as he pointed out the defensive assignments the role players were missing throughout the game. His words can’t be repeated but his message was received.

“Things that I can’t repeat,” DeMar DeRozan said when asked about the incident. “But, you know, it got everybody going where we needed to go, and we got the W.”

Thompson’s rant may have provoked a meme-worthy reaction from rookie Ayo Dosunmu, but he woke the team up. After that stretch, DeRozan and Zach LaVine started to talk through the game plan as well.

That leadership led the Bulls to outscore the Pistons 30-17 in the final 12 minutes. Their defense picked up, forcing the Pistons into five turnovers. LaVine and DeRozan led the comeback, but the role players had just as big of an impact.

The Bulls pulled it together and took the lead with five minutes left in the game. By no stretch does a win over the Pistons warrant becoming title favorites, but that moment can be a way for the team to gain serious momentum amid a streak of very, very lackluster basketball.