Klay Thompson went viral several times last season for holding up four fingers as a taunt to let everyone know he owns four championship rings.
The first time he did it was the fourth game of the 2022-23 NBA season against the Phoenix Suns. Thompson exchanged words with Suns star guard Devin Booker, held up four fingers to represent each championship and was assessed two technical fouls and a ticket to the locker room in a matter of minutes.
He begrudgingly reflected on that moment in an interview with Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George on the “Podcast P” show.
“Yeah I was in my feelings though,” Thompson said to George. “And Book was busting my ass that day. I was not where I needed to be. Stuff doesn’t age well, and that didn’t age well for me. I don’t need to be flexing four rings, bro. Everybody knows that. That’s on Wikipedia.”
Thompson had just two points on 1-of-8 shooting (0 for 5 from deep) in 19 minutes that night before getting ejected. Booker tallied a game-high 34 points in the Suns’ 134-105 victory at Footprint Center.
“My game wasn’t where it was at, and we all get insecure sometimes,” Thompson said. “We all have moments of weakness. I’m not really proud of that one.
“I see Devin Booker, and I should be proud of this young man. The work he’s put in -- he survived a tough regime in Phoenix where everyone was getting traded and he has a new coach every year. Now he’s a franchise player because he just kept working. I admire guys who have work ethic like that.”
Golden State Warriors
Booker shared a similar admiration for Thompson that October night, just hours after their heated exchange on the court.
"We're just two competitors. I love Klay Thompson,” Booker said [h/t ESPN]. “I have for a really long time. But it's not going to excuse from us being competitive and talking to each other. I've always admired his game, how he plays on both ends of the ball.
“And obviously, the rings speak for themselves."
Yes, they do. And it sounds like Thompson realized that himself this offseason.