Some young Warriors players ‘didn't realize' how good Klay is


Warriors guard Klay Thompson is one of the greatest shooters of all time.

He is a three-time NBA champion, two-time All-NBA selection, five-time All-Star and was named Second-Team All-Defense in 2018-19.

Yet some Golden State players didn't fully understand Klay's skill level until they faced off against him at the franchise's voluntary minicamp a couple of weeks ago.

"It's great for other players to see him and the energy he brings," vice president of basketball operations Kirk Lacob recently told Forbes' Patrick Murray. "It was just invaluable to pick up everybody's spirit to see a player of that caliber back on the floor. And to remind everybody.

"I think a few of the younger players even said this to me and to some others -- they didn't realize how good Klay was. And Klay’s response to that was kind of like, and I responded to people, 'I don't even think you guys understand. Like, this is not even Klay yet. This is Klay playing for the first time in a year.'

"So it was it was really valuable. Really good."

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Over four seasons from 2014 to 2018, Thompson shot 42.8 percent from deep on 7.7 attempts per game. In 2018-19, his mark from beyond the arc dipped to 40.2 percent, in large part because he shot just 33.3 percent over the Warriors' first 36 games. So yes, this means he shot an astounding 45.8 percent from 3-point territory over his final 42 appearances.

And in the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, Klay went 24-for-41 (59 percent) from deep.

The guy is a machine, and it was great for a young player like Jordan Poole finally to share the court with the "Splash Brother."

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"He was really excited to see Klay out there because he finally got to see in person, he got to see all the things," Lacob explained. "And that's one of those examples I gave where players were like, 'Wow, Klay is even better than I thought in person.'

"They just saw the way that he's able to stop and get himself square, and to release the same every time, to finish your shot regardless of how crazy it looks."

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