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October 2, 2023

Klay Thompson

San Francisco, California, USA

Media Conference

Q. (On time over the summer.)

KLAY THOMPSON: Just have fun while doing it and that's always what we love to do as baseball players is play pickup and sharpen our skills, and when you have time off, make the most of it and that's what I did.

Q. How much of a challenge will it be this year, obviously everybody gets a year older, you guys have even more veteran guys this year with Rudy and Chris Paul and a revamped roster, knowing you had a quicker off-season than when you won the title, how much does that give you guys motivation for this year to build on what you guys did last year?

KLAY THOMPSON: Well, when you have as many veterans as we do, it makes it easy for everybody to be on the same page, and then to integrate young guys, it will be easier to transition, too, because we have so many great leaders and guys who have experienced a decade-plus in this league. We are all very hungry to have great success this year, and the front office doesn't bring in guys who don't share that same position. I'm really excited to get going tomorrow.

Q. With the Bahamas going to the pre-qualifier, is that something -- would you want to go to the Olympics with the Bahamas if they were to make it?

KLAY THOMPSON: That would be cool because my dad never got the opportunity. The Bahamas is a place where my story cannot be told without it. It's dear to my heart. So yeah, that would be sweet.

Q. You and Steve are both on expiring deals. Specifically with your situation, do you feel like an extension is possible in the next month or so and if not how do you feel as you look towards the future?

KLAY THOMPSON: I think it's possible and if not, life is still great. Like I'm still playing basketball in my 13th year in the NBA. So I have no complaints. Whatever the future has in store, like, I've done so many great things in this uniform and I know there are many more memories to create so whatever happens, life is great. I can't really complain. I've had an incredible run here and I look forward to making more great memories with the guys.

Q. Chris Paul was saying that you were guarding him recently and he said, "We don't do this no more" now that we're teammates. What's it like? You guys have had a lot of battles over a decade or more. What's it like now to have him on your side?

KLAY THOMPSON: It's crazy. I mean, Chris has been in our way of winning for so many years and now to be on the same team with him, it's just a huge honor for myself, especially playing the 2-guard spot. You love playing with a point guard like Chris who is one of the greatest assist men in basketball history. I know he's going to give me so many easy opportunities this year.

I think he's going to help us so much especially from a leadership standpoint. We know what he's capable on the court. Obviously has 20-10 nightly but his ability to lead and guide these young guys and myself, as well, is weighs going to really stand out, I feel like.

Q. Outside of playing pickup, what were some of your highlights?

KLAY THOMPSON: Well, I was fortunate enough to go back to China and the Philippines with ANTA and see how many fans we have over there is always humbling and inspiring. Because when I was a kid and in love with this game, I never would have thought I would have a chance to inspire people across the globe and now that I'm here, able to do it, that's what keeps me going.

I just can't believe that there's people around the world who watch us, who stay up till 2:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., whatever our start time is at and they are dedicated to our season. I got to see that again this past summer when I went with ANTA. It was really special and cool to connect with fans in China and the Philippines. I gained so much motivation from that trip.

Q. Assuming you didn't know Chris real well before he got here. Have you had the experience, scrimmaging or talking to him, that he's nicer or funnier than you thought, or is he what you thought?

KLAY THOMPSON: He's what I thought. He's always been a great guy. Obviously when you're on the court between the lines, you don't like each other because we stand between what each other want. But he was the president of the Player's Association, and he did such wonderful things for us as players.

Chris is just a great family man, as well. To be able to be his shooting guard and have Chris Paul and Steph as your point guards, that's a crazy thought because those are two of the greatest point guards in basketball history.

Q. Towards the end of last season, you talked about having conversations with Coach Kerr about becoming a more complete player, rebounding, doing other things like that. How do you think you continued those steps in terms of your workouts this off-season and in terms of becoming a more complete player?

KLAY THOMPSON: Wow, that's a good question. I would say just try to focus on little details. I'm so in love with scoring the ball and shooting; sometimes it's equally as fun, getting a good stop, getting a good rebound, making assists, the simple plays.

So when I was hooping this summer, I just tried to focus on doing the things that allow the team to win, whether that's hitting the open man, taking the open shot, play defense and not being so pressed like to have to score for my team to win. Just to try to be a complete, cerebral player. I thought did I that well and hopefully it shows this season.

Q. You talked about last year how you will get back to being an All-Star player. What would it mean for you to get back to the All-Star Game this year and have a couple more under your belt before you leave?

KLAY THOMPSON: That would be awesome. It's a goal of mine, and I think it's attainable. It's just how hard I want to work and how ready I'll be opening night, so it's up to me. I'm not going to lie to you, it is a goal of mine. It's always an honor to play in the All-Star Game, and you get used to it; and when you don't go for a while, you kind of feel left out. I think it's in Indianapolis this year, I would love to be there.

Q. Going back to when Mark Jackson was a coach here and he used to always say about you, that you are not low maintenance; you are no maintains and how you and Steph are able to push each other with your work ethic and practice and so forth. Talk about how you and Steph have been together for so long and what you do for each other and how you guys have evolved over the years?

KLAY THOMPSON: Well, I love playing for Mark. Mark was a great motivator. He had so many great stories of when he played, whether it was against Kobe, whether against Michael Jordan, or against Shaq or Kareem, mark played in an era where you had to be tough. There was no nights off back then. I don't think flagrant fouls are the same as we are now.

I enjoyed those days, and as far as with Steph, that's all I know is Steph is my point guard. I've been lucky enough to see his work, ethic, and we were lucky enough to get in the gym together this summer. I know I let him down on the golf course, so I'll try and pick up the slack and have a great shooting season. That's the only way I can really makeup for it.

Q. Your answer about the All-Star Game, depends how ready you'll be opening night. Where does your game feel at this time now compared to this time last year?

KLAY THOMPSON: I feel awesome. I feel like I can do anything with the ball in my hands. I think that's the confidence you have to have if you want to be great. You can't let people dictate. I believe in myself and I believe myself to be an All-Star calibre player.

Q. I know some of the talk about last year was feeling like you weren't quite as ready for the season. I guess that's kind of what I'm asking. Do you feel a lot more physically ready for the season?

KLAY THOMPSON: Oh, yeah. I've been training, every day. And playing a lot of pickup and just having fun while doing it. I'll be ready. This preseason will be great to prepare for that as well. I'm really excited. I mean, I'm excited just to hoop tomorrow.

One benefit, obviously, when you lose, you don't go to the Finals, is extended time off, and that I think pays huge dividends mentally because playing the Championship every season, is feels like just one big overall season, and this year we had a real break to really rejuvenate.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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