At 32-years-old, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson has allegedly reached the tail-end of his prime, according to his latest critics.
The other half of the legendary Splash Bros has been going through a tough start to begin the season. However, Thompson believes that that shouldn’t discredit the four championships he’s contributed to the team and his legacy as one of the greatest shooters of all time.
11th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft
Grew up in the 11th house on 11 Lane
K is the 11th letter in the alphabet
Wears number 11
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 11, 2022
He’s currently averaging the lowest points per game since his rookie season (12.5) at 14.7. The 20 points per night that NBA fans are accustomed to seeing for years has come in the way of his red-hot three-point shooting or his point totals at the foul line. This season, however, Thompson is shooting career lows in both statistical categories; his three-point percentage currently rides at 33 percent, while his free throw shooting takes a significant drop to 75 percent.
Doubters will have a field day with numbers like this, but there’s plenty of hoop action for Thompson to redeem where his strengths are.
“You just can’t please everybody,” Thompson said in an interview with Bleacher Report. “But for myself individually, it’s about rediscovering that form of efficiency and that two-way play that made me great. And I feel like I’m well on my way there.”It wouldn’t be the first time Thompson plans on shutting the critics down. On Jan. 9, when he returned to action after two seasons missed due to a torn Achilles and ACL, Thompson dropped 14 points on the Cleveland Cavaliers, showing promise that the injury did not hold him back. The five-time All-Star played a pivotal role in Golden State advancing to their sixth NBA Finals since 2015.
The Warriors ultimately won the 2022 NBA Finals after beating the Celtics in six games. Despite winning his fourth title after an arduous journey just to get back to the hardwood sanctuary, Thompson believes that his injuries weren’t accounted for enough in their title victory.
“Yeah, that’s true, but I feel like I deserve more credit for battling through all that injury s—,” said Thompson. “I helped a team win a championship last year, and people still want to discredit what you do.”
An 82-game season has its ways of bringing the lows of a player, but for Thompson, his Hall-of-Fame career can be a testament to how quickly he can flip the script on his struggles. In doing so, the Dubs may be competing in mid-June once more for a back-to-back title, solidifying the greatest dynasty of the new generation.
“On the bright side, I’m happy to go through this now compared to a few months from now,” said Thompson. “I have no doubt in my mind I’ll get back to form; I was there last year. We won a championship – The proof is in the pudding. But there’s one more thing I’ll say: You can’t take away the hardware.”