home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 1, 2016

Klay Thompson

Oakland, California: Practice Day

An interview with:


Q. This year you guys had a huge comeback against OKC. Would you call this the best season you've ever seen, and which part means the most to you?
KLAY THOMPSON: The part that means the most to me is probably just our resiliency we showed last series, being down 3-1, we never really panicked when our backs were to the wall. We came together and we realized you know what? We can't get it all back in one day or one night. It's going to be a process.

And I think we're much better from it. Believe it or not, we faced adversity throughout the 73-win season, not like we did last round. So when times are tough, we don't shy from it. We embrace it.

Q. From your film study, what have you noticed, how is their new run-and-gun style similar to your own?
KLAY THOMPSON: Well, obviously the volume of threes they shoot. They're playing with great spacing. They obviously have a guy who can get in the paint or two guys that can get in the paint at will in LeBron and Kyrie.

It's similar to us because the ball, what I see from this team this year compared to last year, doesn't stick as much. They move the ball a lot better. Luckily for us we've got a versatile team defensively. I think we'll be able to take away some of their action on the perimeter just because we've got such a good, big, long-switching team. But at the same time, just because you can switch screens and switch off ball action doesn't mean you can relax, because they've got a lot of good cutters as well and guys who know how to play the game.

Q. Having gone through The Finals last year and everything that you guys did during the regular season this year, how much better a team are you than you were at this point during last year's Finals?
KLAY THOMPSON: I think we're much better. I think we know what to expect on this stage, first off, and I don't think anyone's going to be nervous out there like we were last year. I think including myself, a lot of guys were probably nervous for the first game. There's obviously unfamiliar territory, but now we know what to expect. Every possession matters and easy looks can be harder to come by. Fouls seem a little harder, and guys are just naturally going to be a little more tired, obviously, playing 100 or so games up to this point.

But I think we're way better equipped this year than last year for what we're going to see and what we're going to go through, especially mentally too. The guys know what to expect. And even if it's our 12th to 15th guy, they're going to get called on and have to produce at some point.

Q. You just kind of talked about it, last year I know you had the concussion and some stuff during the Playoffs, but how much more comfortable do you feel this season? Obviously with Steph out you had to take on a bigger role, and it seems you've really embraced it?
KLAY THOMPSON: It's my second year in Coach's system as well, and I usually know where I'm going to get my shots at. I know my role on this team as far as having to defend and run around a ton of screens.

But I feel a lot more comfortable. I feel like it's my -- I'm drawing a blank here -- it's my fifth or -- never mind. But, yes, a lot more comfortable. Sorry, long day.

Q. Klay, how have you seen Coach Kerr evolve over the last year, you think maybe something he took from The Finals to build on? For the Bay Area to have the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals, can you feel a real buzz for the sports world here in this market?
KLAY THOMPSON: I can, since I've been in the Bay Area. I mean, we've been blessed with some great sports organizations and success from when I was here, the Niners were so good. They were going into the AFC or NFC, they were going to the championship game every year. They were playing in the Super Bowl. The Giants obviously won in the World Series, and the Raiders make another resurgence, and obviously with the Sharks and the Stanley Cup, it's really cool, I think. It's a great time to be a Bay Area resident. We obviously, you know, have some of the best fans in the world. Doesn't matter what sport.

That's why it's so fun to win here because people really appreciate you when you play hard and you win for them. They show love, and that goes a long way, and it makes us play even harder.

Q. Can you talk about the relationship with Steph and the development over the years? When did you realize you guys started becoming one in a sense?
KLAY THOMPSON: I was always a fan of Steph, even at Davidson. Just the way he plays the game. It's hard to find another player like him. I always talked to him about how he's the only man here left from when I was a rookie. So I can imagine how he feels being here for his seventh year. It must be crazy. We just continue to grow every year. I think I learn from him, he learns from me. We play to each other's strengths. He knows where I like the ball. He knows, you know, when I'm coming off a screen, he knows all the timing and everything.

I think my fifth year with him, I think we still have room to grow, believe it or not. And when it's all said and done one day, hopefully he'll be considered one of the best backcourt players of the game. It's a big statement, but we've talked about it before that I think it would be really cool, because obviously we both shoot the ball well, and I think we both really have a passion for this game. That's why he's where he's at, and it motivates me to get to his level.

Q. Looking back at last year's Finals, it's pretty amazing to see that you only scored five points in one game, nine in another, 12 in one. What were they doing to you defensively? And what's changed now where that type of defense does not work against you? Because obviously Roberson covered you really well in that last series, and you were still able to get your points.
KLAY THOMPSON: Yeah, I give Roberson credit. He's a good defender. He's long, he's a great leaper, great shot blocker. He made me work for all the buckets that I got. But last year at times I would defer to my teammates. They were playing great. Andre had a big guarding him half the time and he was going to work. I don't expect him to guard me any different this year. I expect him to play the same way, which is trying to take away my three-point shot, run me off the line, make me finish at the rim, which is fine. I think I've gotten better getting in there and making the right play. So for me, it's just about staying aggressive, doing what I've done these whole Playoffs on both sides of the ball. Whether I score five points or 30 points, as long as you get the win, it doesn't really matter.

Q. I'm not sure if you look at it this way, but when it comes to the face of the league, like the first guy that comes to mind when people think of the NBA, do you think that Steph has surpassed LeBron for that?
KLAY THOMPSON: I don't know. That's a tough question. I think honestly it might be regional. I don't think people the East get to see Steph play a lot because of the time difference. But the true basketball fans they'll probably stay up and watch him because he's such a spectacular show to watch.

But I mean, LeBron's been doing it for I think 13 years now, 12, 13 years. I don't think there's just a face in the NBA. I think there's faces because it's such a star-driven league, and players really make the league because there are so many great athletes. But I think it might be easier for the common fan to relate to Steph because it's hard to be 6'8", 260 and have a 40-inch vert and be the fastest guy on the floor. So, I mean, the casual fan might relate better to Steph because he doesn't have that athletic just God-given ability. It's tough to say. It's just personal preference, honestly.

Q. You have a great story on Steph as far as his competitive nature? And also, what do you think about some of the slaps he's gotten this year or hate that he's gotten this year?
KLAY THOMPSON: I mean, I kind of expected it because he's doing it so differently. It's kind of obviously, it's unconventional what he's doing. It's never really been seen before, a guy that can dominate the game of basketball being 6'3", 190 pounds, and he plays with such great poise. Like I said before, not the greatest leaper, not the fastest guy out there, but he does it off skill and will. That's why, you know, the hate he might receive or scepticism from past players or media, I think it just comes with the territory because they can't believe their eyes. Like how is he getting those shots off? Or a guy with that defense, he's slow, he can't go around nobody. But when you go out there and play him, you realize how slippery he is with the ball and he just understands angles and he's such a cerebral player, I think you've got to experience it, Steph Curry out there and real he to really appreciate what he does.

But I think Steph's one of the best in the game of just blocking all that off. I think you don't get to his level without having great mental toughness. Obviously in his career he went through some injuries, but I think it made him better for it. He really appreciates what we have here now, and just because he's a two-time MVP, I've seen him work just as hard as he did in his third year here. It motivates all of us.

I mean, I think the hate and all that, it's going to come whoever it is. I'm probably going to hate on the younger generation too when it's all said and done. I mean, my father still does it. He says we're soft these days and in this day and age, but I think that's just natural.

Q. The six of you guys played with RJ when he was here. Any memories of him as a teammate, et cetera?
KLAY THOMPSON: Yeah, RJ was a great teammate. He was a great worker too. I mean, I remember my second year, he wasn't getting that much playing time at the time, but he was still being there early every day, getting shots up, playing one-on-one. I'm actually really happy to see him here in The Finals. You know, all he wants to do is win. That was what was great about RJ, he puts winning first. He doesn't care about his numbers. He doesn't care about the endorsements and all that. He just wants to win. So I'm happy to see that pay off for him. At the same time, I want to beat him. He's had a great career as well. So I'm happy for RJ.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297