“I loved watching ‘The Simpsons’ growing up, and I loved Bart. He was my guy.”
Klay Thompson said he feels Bart reminds him of himself. “I wasn’t a problem child as a kid, but I was always a little daredevilish,” he told Stadium NBA Insider Shams Charania. “I was eager to jump off some stairs with a skateboard, I was eager to jump off a high rise into a lake or something.”
Thompson doesn’t skateboard anymore. “There’s been too many bad tales of athletes with either a snowboard, a motorcycle, a moped, it doesn’t matter, we’ve had too many too many accidents on them,” he told Charania. “But I still have a love for action sports.”
‘The Simpsons’ is the longest-running American sitcom and the Warriors appear set to be the longest-running NBA dynasty. With Stephen Curry and Thompson reportedly wanting to be “Warriors for life,” the NBA’s best shooting backcourt will likely reside in the Bay Area for years to come. And if the Warriors are a TV show, they’re one without a main character.
“I don’t think this is Steph’s team, I don’t think this is KD’s team, I don’t think this is Draymond’s team, my team,” Thompson said to Charania. “I think this is our team. Without each one of us, we lose a huge part of this team.”
When Thompson first arrived in Golden State, he was a relatively unknown prospect out of Washington State. Under the tutelage of Mark Jackson, Thompson and Curry grew into one of the most dynamic shooting duos in NBA history.
“It started with Mark Jackson just instilling so much confidence in us, calling us the greatest shooting backcourt of all time,” Thompson said to Charania. “I’m very happy that we proved him right.”
This will be Thompson and Curry’s eighth season together in Golden State. They hold the top two spots for most three-pointers made in team history and have spearheaded the franchise’s resurgence after two decades of failure.
“Our games just grew with one another,” Thompson said to Charania. “I think we’re the best backcourt because of our resumes.” It’s quite a resume. The guards have three championships, two MVP awards, nine All-Star appearances and seven All-NBA team selections between them. Thompson said he believes there is still one thing missing from the list.
“The past few years, there’s been some guys where I’m like, ‘Man, I know I’m a better defender than him,’” Thompson told Charania regarding the lack of an All-Defensive Team selection. “I really want to make one of those teams. I think I put the work in on both ends to get that recognition.” Thompson also said he wants to be part of the 50-40-90 club, something Curry and Kevin Durant have accomplished.
There’s no telling how successful the Warriors might have been without the addition of Kevin Durant in 2016. But Durant may never have been a Warrior had it not been for Thompson. Specifically, Klay’s historic effort in the 2016 playoffs.
Thompson got into a rhythm and never got out during Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference Finals. He hit 11 three-pointers to set a new playoff record en route to 41 points and a 108-101 victory. If Thompson doesn’t set a record, it’s very possible the Warriors don’t win that game and see their 73-win season end. Durant would’ve advanced to the NBA Finals and likely would not have made the jump to Golden State in the offseason.
“I’m thankful that we got KD,” Thompson said to Charania. “Without KD, we would not be the same team that we are. I do look back on that game sometimes because it’s cool to see what you have in you, that was a huge gut-check moment for our season.”
Thompson also said he takes pride in holding a playoff record. “Luckily, I still hold that record, but I know Steph’s gunning for it, I’m sure it’ll be broken one day,” Thompson said to Charania. “That’s probably my most prideful thing. NBA playoff record; I never would’ve thought that as a child.”
As he approaches unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2019, Thompson said he couldn’t envision himself playing anywhere else. He’ll be heavily recruited and highly coveted, but Thompson said he doesn’t pay attention to that.
“I just want to be on a great team, I don’t necessarily want to be the focal point,” Thompson said to Charania. “I know what it feels like to win and win with some of your best friends, that’s why it would be hard for me to leave.”
In a time where it seems loyalty doesn’t exist in the NBA, the Warriors appear to remain the exception. If Thompson indeed stays home, basketball’s version of ‘The Simpsons’ won’t be slowing down.