Ever since Klay Thompson has come back from injury, he’s been very fast to clap back at any perceived haters, be it tweets from Jaren Jackson Jr., the people who make player ratings for NBA 2K, or today, beat writers who speculate about his retirement.
Monte Poole reported that Thompson gave an interview where he took issue with beat writer Connor Letourneau’s suggestion that Klay might hang it up when his contract with the Golden State Warriors expires after the 2023-24 season. Klay shut that down emphatically.
“There’s a report out there . . . I have no intention of retiring in 2024. If you write some dumb s—t like that, just be held accountable,” Klay told reporters. “That’s crazy. Just because I didn’t play 5-on-5 doesn’t mean I’m going to retire. That is absurd. That’s all I got to say.”
Letourneau did an interview with KNBR Monday where he speculated about Thompson’s future, inspired by Klay’s seeming lack of interest in talking about a contract extension, unlike, well, everyone else on the team. On the Papa & Lund Show, Letourneau said:
“The reality is that Klay does have two more years on his deal. I personally would not be shocked if Klay just retired from basketball at the end of that contract. I don’t think it’s going to be between this season and next season. If he does retire in the near future it would be after his contract ends. He’s had no interest or desire to talk about extensions, even though he is extension eligible right now,”
We suspect Klay was more upset with the second part of Letourneau’s quote, where he talked about Klay’s two big injuries. Letourneau said, “The trauma from that experience is very real...Just because he played well in the Finals, doesn’t mean the aftermath of that Achilles injury and those back-to-back injuries is over. He’s still got mental hurdles to overcome and we all need to realize that, and the Warriors understand that.”
Perhaps Thompson was also sensitive about the suggestion of psychological issues, after a summer where he didn’t play any summer basketball because of a “mental block.” Even if Thompson might have been considering retirement, he probably doesn’t like the public thinking he has any kind of mental hurdles. Maybe he’d retire because the next America’s Cup is in September of 2024. Or he’s an aspiring Olympic breakdancer. Or if he becomes the CEO of Just Live CBD. But it won’t be for those reasons.
Will Klay let it go and bury the hatchet with Letourneau? It might take a while. Klay took every opportunity to complain about his 2K rating, like when he used an interview in Japan to demand, “Ronnie 2K, change my three-point rating right now!”
“Righ now! you hater!”
Then Klay took the fight to Instagram comments, posing on ESPN’s page after Ronnie 2K appeared on their NBA Today show.
A day later, Klay saw the error of his ways and apologized for his “super lame and loser behavior.”
Klay Thompson apologizes to Ronnie 2K:— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) October 19, 2022
“Cyber-bullying is super lame and loser behavior and for that I am sorry bro” pic.twitter.com/RHBRPm5nq2
We have a feeling they’ll straighten out the misunderstanding. Because that’s super cool and winner behavior.