As soon as Tristan Thompson's deal with the Boston Celtics was done, the big man reached out to a mentor who once donned Celtics Green.
Thompson called up 2008 NBA champion Kendrick Perkins, who was a role model of his during their time together in Cleveland. On the latest Celtics Talk Podcast, Thompson described his relationship with Perkins to NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg and revealed what Perk told him during their conversation.
"Perk has been huge for me," Thompson said. "Our first year going to the Finals, Perk was on the team and he was very instrumental in terms of me taking that growth, in terms of being an enforcer and never really taking any crap from nobody."
"So Perk's been huge, and as soon as I committed to the Celtics I called him the next day and he said, 'You're the piece that they need and you're going to do great here.' So It's always good when one of your mentors and OGs support a decision like that and are happy for you."
Perkins also took to Twitter on Friday to reiterate what he told Thompson:
It's no mystery why Perkins is high on Thompson's potential with Boston. The 29-year-old will the bring size, physicality, and rebounding the Celtics have needed in recent seasons. He'll also add a veteran presence and a winning pedigree to a young C's locker room.
It's too early to call Thompson the missing piece of the puzzle for the Celtics, but Perk's approval plus Thompson's mentality entering his first season with a new team are great signs.
Thompson and the Celtics will play in their first preseason game Tuesday vs. the Philadelphia 76ers at 7:30 p.m. ET. Their regular-season opener is set for Dec. 23 vs. the Milwaukee Bucks at 7:30 p.m.