It wasn’t until this summer that Klay Thomspon determined he could focus solely on basketball without any mental blockage during the offseason.
After returning during the 2021-22 NBA season following a 941-day injury rehab, Thompson didn’t want to play in pickup games last offseason. But that changed this year.
In an interview with 95.7 The Game’s Bonta Hill and Joe Shasky on Friday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr discussed Thompson’s efforts this summer and how the five-time NBA All-Star is acting like himself again.
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“You know, Klay knew he had to have a better summer,” Kerr told Hill and Shasky. “And he told us that. We didn’t have to tell him. He’s self-aware. I think this summer he was really committed. I just saw him the last few days playing pickup ball.”
Kerr added that Thompson is in great shape and has extra motivation, considering he’s a free agent next summer. And because the Warriors have an expensive roster, Thompson has to prove to first-year general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. that he deserves to continue his Golden State career.
“He looks fantastic,” Kerr told Hill and Shasky. “[Klay’s] in great shape. He’s shooting the lights out. [Klay’s] motivated, it’s a contract year. He wants to come back and be the best version of himself, and he’s put himself in a position to do that. He’s in great shape, and he’s ready to roll.”
Golden State Warriors
Last year, Thompson averaged 21.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists in his first complete season back in the Warriors’ starting lineup. Although Klay would consider his past season a “down year,” the 33-year-old proved that he still has a lot of gas left in the tank.
As the Warriors’ trio of Thomspon, Steph Curry and Draymond Green take aim at a fifth NBA championship ring, it’s a positive sign for Golden State and Kerr that Klay once again is confident in his body.
Although Dunleavy Jr. will have some difficult decisions next summer, Thompson has done everything to earn a lucrative contract when the time comes.
Expect Thompson to be a flamethrower when the Warriors’ regular season begins against ex-Warrior Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 24th at the Chase Center.