14 May Getting to Know: Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson
Name: Klay Alexander Thompson
Born: February 8, 1990 (age 29) in
Los Angeles, California
Position: Shooting guard
All Star Games: 5
NBA Champion: 3 times
Thompson is the son of former NBA
player Mychal Thompson.
College: Washington State (2008–2011)
NBA draft: 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11th overall. Selected
by the Golden State Warriors
Favorite NBA ball player growing up: Kobe Bryant
2019 Salary: $18,988,725
Who taught you to love the game of basketball?
Definitely my dad. He taught me the passion for the
game. I really love the game because of him. I watched it
so much growing up, and he loves it so much to this day.
His life is pretty much basketball.
He loves it and being around the
team and the organization. My love
of hoops comes from him, and just
my simple fundamentals. He gave
me a ball really young and taught
me my form, how to dribble, how
to pass at a young age, so I give him
a lot of credit.
At what point did you start thinking
about playing in the NBA?
Probably the beginning of my
sophomore year of high school.
I was in a zone. I was playing well, and I knew that my
freshman year I had a good year. Making all-freshman
was great. But I just knew if I could do it this well, there
could be a spot for me in the league. And my dad told me
that as well. He said, “Klay, the way you can shoot it, handle
it and pass it, you can definitely make it in the NBA.”
He was telling me that when I was really young, though.
Can you, as best you can, give me a sense of what it’s
like to play alongside three legitimate All-Stars every
night? It makes my life easy, I’ll tell you that much. It can
be any of us to go off every night. Draymond can get you
a near triple-double every night. Steph can do his thing,
just rain threes, push the pace. KD is probably the most
effortless scorer I’ve ever played with. I see it on the road
a lot, when we go to these other arenas. These guys have
their individual fan base themselves, guys like Steph and
KD, and then you pile that on top of the success our Warriors
team has had, it’s cool to see this fan base we have
on the road. It makes an 82-game season a ton of fun.
How do you fight complacency? Why is it important
for Klay Thompson to win year after
year? You just want to be mentioned with all the
legends. You want to be mentioned with all the
teams that will live forever. The Showtime Lakers.
The Bulls. The Kobe-Shaq Lakers. Teams that
stood the test of time. I grew up watching them.
And nothing is ever guaranteed. I thought 2016,
that year was guaranteed to hang another banner
but obviously we didn’t. With injuries or free
agency, you never know how long one team is
going to stay together.
What’s your best memory from going to All-Star
Weekends? I got two. This one’s kind of combined,
but the Three-Point Contest, me vs. Steph, three years
in a row (2015 and 2016), was a lot of fun. The other
weekend was probably two years ago, being able to be
around Kobe Bryant in his last year as an All-Star, in his
20th season, just because I grew up watching him and I
wanted to be an NBA two-guard one day. To be there in
his final chapter was surreal for me. That’s when I felt like
I really made it.
What’s your most memorable moment in the NBA?
Besides the championships, because that’s by far my
best moments, the game a couple of years ago against
Sacramento where I scored 37 points in a quarter. I just
never thought I would own an NBA record growing up.
What’s the one thing you’ve been able to do over the
last few years because of all your team’s success that
made you think, ‘I can’t believe I get to do this?
Probably going to the White House to see Obama. That
was a shock. I never really thought I would get to go inside
or go there as a champion. That was really cool.