We don’t get the pleasure of Klay Thompson soundbites all that often. The four-time All-Star shooting guard is perhaps the most beloved personality on the defending champion Golden State Warriors, but he’s quiet, often reserved, and doesn’t seek out the spotlight.
But when he’s in it . . . my word does he shine, in his own unique way.
Thompson recently sat down with NBA insider Shams Charania, for an extensive video interview. In it, the sharpshooter peeled back layers a little bit more than we’re used to seeing. While we’ve heard him state his intention to remain in the Bay Area, he reiterated his desire in a more expansive way to Charania.
From @watchstadium 1-on-1 with Warriors' Klay Thompson: The 3-time champ on ever envisioning 'your own team', '19 free agency. “I don’t want necessarily to be the focal point at all times. I’ve been to the mountain top...I’ve put so much blood, sweat, tears with this franchise." pic.twitter.com/naAaow1NtT— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 2, 2018
“I don’t know what having your own team really means,” Thompson said with a sly grin. “I know what it means to be the leader, the captain, the stat-stuffer and all that, but 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, Andre, coach Kerr. I think this is our team. ... I don’t necessarily want to be the focal point at all times, ‘cause I’ve been to the mountain top. I know what it feels like to win, and win with some of your best friends.”
Honestly, Thompson calling Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and the rest of the Warriors some of his “best friends” put one heck of a smile on my face.
Thompson admitted that, “With time, things change. It’s hard for me to envision what goes on in nine months”, which is when he’ll be a free agent. But he did say that, “I couldn’t imagine myself being somewhere else.”
He also touched on his defense, something he does at a high level but hasn’t been rewarded for. While Thompson has long been seen as an elite defender by his team and by his peers, he’s yet to make an All-Defensive team, or even come that close.
From sitdown with Warriors' @KlayThompson: Klay takes aim on NBA All-Defensive team. "I’m very confident in saying this: The past few years, there’s been some guys where I’m like, ‘Man, I know I’m a better defender than him.’" pic.twitter.com/t8tILJfWss— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 2, 2018
“I’m very confident in saying this,” Thompson remarked, before displaying the type of confidence we don’t usually see him vocalize. “The past few years there’s been some guys [on the All-Defensive team] where I’m like, ‘Man, I know I’m a better defender than him.’ ... But that’s okay. That’s part of the game. That’s why I’m gonna try to do a better job of getting more steals this year, more blocked shots, and just be a pest. Because I really want to make one of those teams.”
The whole interview, which last about 11 minutes, can be viewed on Stadium here. It’s well worth the watch.