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September 30, 2019

Klay Thompson

Oakland, California

Q. Klay, earlier Steph had talked about creating change and creating opportunities, and I know that you have done a lot regarding Hurricane Dorian for your father's home country of the Bahamas. My family, too, has been affected by the hurricane. Can you talk about how your family is doing in the Bahamas, and why was it so important for you to spearhead that campaign?
KLAY THOMPSON: Yeah, well, thank you for asking, and my thoughts are with your fam. My family is doing well. They're very lucky. So many of them live on Nassau. My uncle is from Freeport, which got hit. His house was very lucky, though, still standing. That was so important to me because I spent so much of my childhood going to the Bahamas. If we ever had a family vacation it was going to Nassau to see the family. What a place to have family, too; it's the most beautiful water in the world, beautiful people, and I just want to bring awareness. It happened, the hurricane, some months away, but the infrastructure and homes destroyed, families lost, it's going to take so much rebuilding, not just the quick fix but for years to come, and just a mission in mind to keep bringing awareness because the Bahamas is such a desirable destination, especially to so many Americans, people around the world, and we can't just -- I just don't want to forget about them in their biggest time of need.

Yeah, so it was a rough summer, but as a Thompson and for our family, it's very important to bring awareness because I wear the Bahamas with pride.

Q. Bob was in here earlier and he already ruled you out before the All-Star break. Is there any part of you that's trying to beat that time or are you definitely not playing until the All-Star break and we'll see after that?
KLAY THOMPSON: No, I'm going to do what the team says, and I've done my due diligence on rehabs and ACL injuries, and the last thing you want to do is rush back, especially for a player like me who wants to play until he's in his late 30s. I want to play at a high level until that point, too. As much as it kills me not to be on the court, patience is a virtue, and rushing back would be not very smart.

Q. How do you suspect that play is going to change when you come back, integrating you and D'Angelo into the same offense?
KLAY THOMPSON: I think it'll be easy. I think my style of play can adapt to anybody, and I've been watching D'Angelo for years now, and he's an amazing passer, and I don't think he's played with two shooters like me and Steph. I think he's just going to have fun as far as play making and coming off those pick-and-rolls he did in Brooklyn so well, now with the space he has with us, I think it's going to be great. So I don't think it'll be very hard at all, honestly. I think we all know how to play at such a high level, and we're all very unselfish.

Q. Given the talent and experience that Steph and Draymond have together, what do you think they can do on the court and behind the scenes to help with the transition, with your injury and a lot of new pieces and departures?
KLAY THOMPSON: They're just easy to lean on in times of adversity because they've seen it all. I mean, any scenario whether in the Playoffs or regular season, I think we've experienced, so that experience is going to -- pays huge dividends this year, especially with the youth we have, and it's exciting to be a veteran. It's pretty incredible how fast your career goes, but we're just going to embrace that veteran leadership we have to take on.

Q. What has this rehabilitation process been like for you on this ACL? This one of your most significant injuries in your basketball career, so what's it been like and maybe some things that have been surprising along this journey?
KLAY THOMPSON: Well, I mean, it's been just kind of tedious. I mean, the workouts, they're not fun. You're not on the court putting together dribble packages and getting up jumpers and playing one-on-one. You're doing a lot of tedious exercises just to build back strength and confidence and pass those mental hurdles that might hold you back. So for me, I'm still -- and I'm about to enter phase 2 of the rehab, and it's been a great -- I had surgery July 2nd, so I've made huge strides since then.

I've become much more sympathetic to all athletes at all levels who go through a major injury or surgery. It's not fun, and it really tests your patience. But it's our job to come back even stronger, and the team has faith in me to do that. That's why I think they rewarded me with my extension.

Q. Klay, it seemed like the consensus for when you come back, it's a ways away, but you're going to start at the 3 next to D'Angelo and Steph. Are there any adjustments you're going to have to make offensively and defensively, or are all wings pretty much interchangeable at this point?
KLAY THOMPSON: Offensively it's pretty interchangeable. I'm probably going to have to guard guys a little bigger than me, 6'9", 6'10", but that's okay. Just keep staying strong in the post.

But I know we can do it. That's a pretty powerful lineup led by us three, and Draymond is like another guard out there. So I'm excited, and I can't wait until I can get back out there and see how we mesh. It's pretty fun.

Q. Draymond was just saying he's going to plan his wedding around trying to make the team, the Olympic team for 2020 in Tokyo. Do you intend to play if that all works out, and would that be on your radar?
KLAY THOMPSON: Yeah, for sure. Any time you play for Team USA, it's a lot of fun. I've just got to consider myself health first and foremost before I commit to that because of obviously what I've had to endure the last few months.

Q. What are kind of the estimated benchmarks on some of the more important stuff like running, getting on the court? How far in the future do you think you can do some of that stuff?
KLAY THOMPSON: Soon. But I'm just excited to start my first workout with the staff tomorrow. But pretty soon I should start moving around pretty good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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