It was a recurring sight during a frustrating Golden State Warriors season for Klay Thompson. During the final stages of a loss, or a heated session of trash talk, Thompson would hold up four fingers and yell, “Four rings!” Sometimes he’d add a “Bro” or a “Time will tell!,” but it was his go-to move. But as he told Paul George on “Podcast P,” that didn’t age well.
Good chance you won't see Klay flexing his 4 rings to opponents again pic.twitter.com/xOXLGZqfW6— Podcast P with Paul George (@PodcastPShow) August 7, 2023
When Thompson first flexed four rings, it was during a blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns in October. Devin Booker was going off, Thompson was still out of shape after a summer of no basketball, and he was “In my feelings.” After an extended period of chippiness and chirping back and forth, Thompson ended up getting drawing the first ejection of his NBA career.
“Book was busting my ass that day,” Thompson told George. (Booker went for 34 points; Klay had as many points as technical fouls - two.) “I was not where I need to be.”
Thompson sounded embarrassed, adding, “Stuff doesn’t age well. That did not age well.”
It barely aged well at the time. Thompson is a passionate player, and leaning on the rings was what he did when he felt especially insecure. Like when Memphis was handling the Warriors at home in March.
Showing four fingers when you’re losing is simply not a good flex. Even to Dillon Brooks. As Thompson himself explained, “I don’t need to be flexing four rings, bro. Everyone know that. That’s on Wikipedia.”
It was a remarkably self-aware interview from Thompson, who admitted, “We all get insecure at times. I’m man enough to admit that.” He also praised Booker’s work ethic and complimented him about building himself into a “franchise player.”
He also should stop doing the “four rings” move because it’s going to make his new teammate, the ring-less Chris Paul, feel even worse. But Klay’s not going to stop talking trash to opponents, so we have some suggestions for a replacement move.
This one is simple. Klay raises the middle finger on each hand to indicate his uniform number, 11. There’s no way anyone would confuse that gesture for anything else.
The Four Plus Ten
Klay sinks a three, and then flashes four fingers to the opposing bench. Everyone thinks it’s “four rings” again but then, bam! Ten more fingers, because he’s actually bragging about his NBA-record 14 three-pointers in a single game (technically he did it in three quarters).
The Gentleman Smoker
Klay raises three fingers like he’s celebrating a triple, but then his index finger and thumb meet as he mimes puffing on a joint.
Cleat the Rode
As an experienced boat captain, Thompson knows that when you form your hand into the shape of a letter “C” and then flick the wrist, that means to cleat the rode. As we all know, that means to fasten the chain of your anchor to a cleat on the side of the boat, in order to hold the boat fast to the anchor. In other words, those opponents are going to need a massive heavy weight, ideally a plow anchor like the Rocna Vulcan, in order to slow down Klay.
A finger and a thumb in the shape of an “L” on his forehead
This move clearly denotes that Klay’s opponent is a loser. It would also delight 90’s animated soundtrack mainstay and online basketball pundits Smash Mouth. It would also remind opponents that Klay is a five-time All-Star, and that as a shooting star, he has broken the mold.
Let's also talk about in game3 Poole got up from the bench and went to the scorers table to ask how many fouls Klay had and Klay noticed. Bad bad bad,.... We see a trade in the offseason.— Smash Mouth (@smashmouth) May 10, 2023
Yelling “Fore!” and acting surprised and offended that anyone thinks he’s still talking about his rings, rather than flashing back to shanking a tee shot during Capital One’s “The Match”
He’s clearly talking about golf when he does that.
The Quadruple Gollum
Klay hunches over, opens his eyes wide, and yells “My precious! Sneaky hobbitses!” before lunging and biting at the ring finger of the man guarding him. Then he does it three more times, because unlike that loser Frodo, he has four rings.
After making a three, Klay runs up close behind the man guarding him and puts two fingers up behind the player’s head, making it look like he has the ears of a bunny rabbit. Simple yet devastating. We would suggest a full-fingered “Moose Ears” move, but that one is so humiliating that Klay would be ejected on the spot.
Klay slowly counts out to three on his fingers. Then when an opponent asks what he’s counting, he says, “Oh, my championship rings.” They’ll say, “I thought you had four rings, Klay” he just shrugs and says, “I have so many, sometimes I lose track.”
The Two-Handed Shove To The Ribs
You can ask Roy Hibbert about that one.
The UN Interpreter
This one is a little obscure, but bear with us. After a big shot, Klay shuffles up the court and mutters to an opposing player that he liked go through the It’s A Small World ride pretending he was an UN interpreter. Then he suddenly collapses onto the court while yelling, “Good Lord!”
When the opponent bends down to see if he’s OK, Klay whispers, “You ever seen that video of Kelsey Grammer falling down? You know how many times he’s been married?”
Let’s be honest, the player probably won’t know, but Klay will.
“Four times. Kinda makes you think. That’s a lot of rings, huh?”
The fall isn’t mentioned on Kelsey Grammer’s Wikipedia page, so it’s fair game.
A High-Five, but in Klay’s head he’s secretly predicting the Warriors win a fifth ring
This one might be the winner, but there’s no way to predict who’s going to win the NBA title next year. That is, unless you wrote and recorded the hit song “Walking On The Sun.”