Klay Thompson had an incredible Game 2 against the Los Angeles Lakers. He finished scored 30 points with 7 rebounds leading the Golden State Warriors to tie the series at 1-1. Thompson has played a vital role on the Warriors’ roster contributing his skill to all four championships acquired in the last decade. However, Klay is also living one of his biggest dreams playing at the Crypto.com Arena.
During the post-game press conference, the 4x NBA Champion spoke about his lifelong dream of playing at the Staples Center, which the Crypto.com stage was formerly named.
He said, “It’s such an incredible experience to play in front of my friends and family. I would go to Staples as a high school basketball player with my pops. Just dreaming of playing on that floor.” Thompson has been competing in the league for a little over a decade now. His father was a former Los Angeles Lakers player as well.
“I’m a huge Kobe [Bryant] fan. He was my biggest inspiration. I’m just going to play my hardest to honor him and Gigi cause without his play and me viewing his tenacity on the court, I would not be the athlete I am today.”
Klay Thompson on playing in LApic.twitter.com/6rOS2RXz4W
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 5, 2023
He also expressed his gratitude and love towards Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. He said, “I’m a huge Kobe fan. He was my biggest inspiration. I’m just going to play my hardest to honor him and Gigi cause without his play and me viewing his tenacity on the court, I would not be the athlete I am today.”
This is not the first time, Thompson has expressed his love for the late great Black Mamba. Thompson often admits that Kobe was one of his biggest inspirations.
Klay Thompson watched a specific Kobe Bryant video every day during his rehabilitation
Klay Thompson went down with an injury during the 2019 NBA Finals and was diagnosed with an ACL injury. A year later, he was expected to return to the court when he tore his Achilles tendon just before the start of the season. He spent 941 days in rehabilitation and went through watching his team’s downfall in his absence. There were moments caught on camera showing how eager he was to get back on the court.
During his time off, Thompson developed a ritual that kept him going. He re-watched a clip of Kobe Bryant complimenting the Warriors and the duo he formed with Stephen Curry.
The Laker said, “I get a kick out of watching the Golden State play because they seem very unassuming… Klay and Steph like very calm and nice guys. You know, those guys are stone-cold killers, man.” For Thompson, these words meant the world to him. He would reveal his ritual during an interview with FOX Sports.
Kobe calls Klay and Steph ‘stone-cold killers.’ 🐍🏀
(🎥: @SportsCenter) pic.twitter.com/1BY6Dyg6eG
— theScore (@theScore) May 11, 2019
Thompson said, “It means so much, it’s hard to even put into words. Kobe’s not the guy who just hands out compliments like that, so, for me to gain his respect, it meant everything to me. It inspired me to keep going and never be satisfied, just like he was.” The Warriors player would explain how much he idolized Kobe when he was young and how important it is that the Mamba’s legacy was carried on by him.