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  • Writer's pictureWyatt Bose

End of an era: Klay Thompson leaves Golden State

Updated: Jul 4


Damn, who knew?


It’s official: the Splash Brothers have played their final game together. 


The good things we been through.


Klay Thompson signed a three-year, $50 million deal to join the Dallas Mavericks on July 1, marking the end of an era in Golden State. Thompson and Stephen Curry forged the greatest shooting backcourt in NBA history, but all good things come to an end.


That I'd be standing right here talking to you.


Last year, 4x NBA champion general manager Bob Myers stepped down from his position with the Warriors, starting a new role as an analyst at ESPN. Seemingly, Myers saw the writing on the wall because Golden State has been in turmoil ever since.


'Bout another path, I know we loved to hit the road and laugh.


In 2022, the Warriors won the NBA Championship. Just two years later, cornerstone pieces like Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole are wearing different uniforms. In two offseasons, the Warriors lost Thompson, Poole, and Chris Paul and acquired just two second-round picks in total, both from the Thompson deal.


But something told me that it wouldn't last.


Ultimately, Thompson left the Warriors primarily due to disaffection and joined the Mavericks to pursue a fifth championship.


Had to switch up, look at things different, see the bigger picture.


It was reported that both the Warriors and Lakers offered more money than the Mavericks, although each deal failed for different reasons. The Lakers’ offer involved a sign-and-trade, where the Warriors would have re-signed Thompson and subsequently traded him to Los Angeles in exchange for a package that involved D’Angelo Russell. Golden State did not want to bring back Russell, thus the trade never happened. As for Golden State’s offer to Thompson, it was reportedly $4 million more per year than the deal Thompson signed with Dallas. Thompson’s frustration with the Warriors’ front office, coupled with his desire to win a fifth championship, ultimately led to his decision to sign with the Mavericks. He spoke with Draymond Green and Stephen Curry beforehand to tell them the news.


Those were the days, hard work forever pays.


While Thompson’s departure was more bitter than sweet, it should not mar his legacy in Golden State. In 13 memorable seasons, Thompson was a 5x NBA All-Star, 4x NBA Champion, 2x All-NBA, 1x All-Defensive team, and 1x Olympic Gold Medalist. On January 23, 2015, he scored 37 points in the third quarter alone. Thirty-seven points in one quarter. Bonkers.


On December 5, 2016, Thompson scored a career-high 60 points in just 29 minutes against the Indiana Pacers. He took eleven dribbles the entire game. Thompson left the game with 1:22 remaining in the 3rd quarter and did not return, leaving his potential career high to speculation.


Now I see you in a better place.


In the end, Thompson’s heroic Game 6 performances, which conferred upon him the moniker “Game 6 Klay,” are for what he will be remembered most. In 2016, the Warriors were on the ropes in OKC. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and the Thunder led 3-2 in Game 6 at home. A win would end the Warriors’ historic 73-9 season and prevent Durant from joining the Warriors that offseason. However, Thompson scored 41 points and willed Golden State to victory, hitting clutch shot after clutch shot on the way to a Game 7 back in the Bay. The Warriors would go on to win Game 7 at home but lose in the Finals. Despite the Finals loss, Thompson’s performance in Game 6 against OKC allowed Durant to join the Warriors that offseason, which led to two championships.


In 2018, Thompson gave a curtain call. The Houston Rockets led Golden State 3-2 in Game 6 at Oracle Arena, and it was Thompson -- not Durant or Curry -- who scored 35 points to force a Game 7. The Warriors would go on to win the title that year, and Thompson's performance was, per usual, overshadowed.


Thompson's contributions to the Warriors will always be underappreciated. Golden State plans to retire his jersey and will likely erect a statue in his honor, but the true impact he had on the franchise is immeasurable.


Klay Thompson is one of a kind and that's why he meant so much to Golden State. He is the teammate who comes through when you always need him, and he’ll never say a thing. He will hit the shot when nobody else can, and he'll take the shot when nobody else has the guts. He'll become one of the greatest shooters in NBA history and defer all of the glory to his teammate, his Splash Bro, his ride-or-die. He has the dignity to take a backseat when nobody else can, and that's rare in this day and age. He is the greatest partner in crime anyone could ever ask for.


Without Klay Thompson, there are not four championships in Golden State.

Without Klay Thompson, there is no dynasty.

Without Klay Thompson, there is no Stephen Curry.


They’ve come a long way from where they began

And maybe, just maybe, they’ll see each other again.


Farewell, Klay Thompson.



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1 Comment


gstumbaugh
Jul 03

Great write up!

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