Klay Thompson’s Warriors future continues to be clouded by uncertainty, but the sharpshooter could have provided some clarity of his own.
The veteran Warriors guard told The Ringer’s Logan Murdock that he would be open to a reduced role with Golden State if it allowed him to stay in the Bay and play for the only team he’s ever been a part of.
“Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with that,” Thompson told Murdock. “I will be 35 next year. At 35, I’m out of ACL and Achilles [tear] and I still have the ability to be a very good player. Maybe not the guy who scored 60 points in three quarters and scored an NBA record 37 points in one quarter, but he’s still a big threat.
“I modeled my game on Reggie [Miller] and Ray [Allen], and these guys were incredibly effective well into their late thirties. So I intend to follow this model.
Thompson is in the middle of a contract year as he and the organization have yet to come to terms on a deal beyond the 2023-24 season.
The four-time NBA champion has spent his entire NBA career with the Warriors, and in year 13, he’s soaking up every moment.
Playing alongside Steph Curry and Draymond Green for over a decade and creating something special that will forever be etched in franchise history, Thompson can’t imagine ending his career anywhere else – with someone other.
“I mean, right where we started,” Thompson told Murdock. “The Warriors before we came along had a good history as far as Wilt and Rick Barry and TMC and We Believe. I think we’ve taken that to another level. I just think it’s a special, special group, and then when we win and go to so many championships together, … it’s like a bond for life.
“It’s probably the best part of the job, honestly. Outweighs the money, outweighs the fame, just being able to have a lifelong bond with these guys.”
Thompson’s blitzkrieg shooting and efficient two-way play helped the Warriors make five straight NBA Finals appearances and win three titles before winning a fourth three seasons later. Two serious injuries in a row prevented Thompson from developing, but he has been fighting ever since to become the player he once was.
But his competitiveness and stubbornness have recently clashed with a calm, accepting awareness that has allowed Thompson to enjoy the ride and not put so much pressure on himself.
“I’ve done so much work to get back to playing basketball that I just needed a little change in perspective and rather than trying to be my old self or be an All-Star the NBA or whatever,” he told Murdock. “Just to be as effective as possible in my current role and, more importantly, have fun, man, because at the end of the day, I only have a few years left of doing this and I need to have fun.
“I can’t be stressed because things aren’t going the way I want them to. I just have to keep having fun. I think I did a good job tonight.”
After struggling to start the season, Thompson has shown flashes of resurgence in recent games. In 47 games this season, he is averaging 16.9 points on 41.3 percent shooting from the field and 37.3 percent from 3-point range, with 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
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