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Klay Thompson is an NBA champion twice over following the Golden State Warriors‘ 129-120 Game 5 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night, and he told ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe he’d rather bolster his ring collection in years ahead than stand out for his individual play.
When discussing Kevin Durant‘s arrival and his shift into a role as the Warriors’ No. 3 scorer after operating as Stephen Curry‘s sidekick for the past few seasons, Thompson embraced a selfless, team-first mindset.
“I don’t feel like I sacrificed at all,” Thompson told Lowe. “I’d rather be a part of something that could leave a legacy. There is more to basketball than getting yours, or being the guy. I hope I do this for a long time for the Warriors.”
While Thompson’s shine wasn’t as bright this year with Durant around, he’s absolutely right that he didn’t sacrifice.
Over the course of 78 regular-season games, Thompson averaged career highs of 22.3 points, 17.6 field-goal attempts and 8.3 three-point attempts per game.
If there’s a knock, it would be on Thompson’s postseason play. In 17 playoff appearances, the Golden State sniper averaged 15.0 points on 39.7 percent shooting from the field. During that stretch, he topped 20 points in a game four times.
However, Thompson’s defense more than made up for the lackluster shooting, as opponents were limited to 101.0 points per 100 possessions when Thompson was on the floor and posted a staggering 107.6 when he was on the bench.
Secure in his role, Thompson should continue to operate as a two-way force for a Warriors team that has its sights set on even more history in the years to come.
Stats courtesy of NBA.com.