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#pounditThursday, June 13, 2024

Klay Thompson was inspired by NBA legends prior to Game 2

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson came alive offensively in the Golden State Warriors’ Game 2 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday night, and the sharpshooter is thanking a couple of NBA legends for giving him the confidence to do it.

After he scored just six points and shot 18.8 percent from the field in Game 1, Thompson scored 22 in Game 2 on 8-of-12 shooting. Appearing on NBA TV after the win, Thompson credited Jerry West and Rick Barry.

“I love Jerry because he always cuts to the chase. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything; he’s going to tell you what he thinks,” Thompson said. “He’s told me how good I am, and just to get it back. Same with Rick Barry. I saw Rick Barry at the beginning of the night, and he’s the same way.

“There’s something about those old school dudes. (Barry) told me, ‘Just get a couple of easy looks, get to the free throw line. No one can stop you.’ To hear those two have that kind of confidence in you, it helped me a lot.”

West, who scored 27.0 points per game in his Hall of Fame career, works as an executive in Golden State’s front office. Barry, also a Hall of Famer, was named NBA Finals MVP in 1975 after he led the Warriors to a championship.

“When those guys talk you listen,” Thompson added. “Jerry’s been so successful as a player, coach and front office guy. Same with Rick, those are two of the most talented scorers to ever play this game.”

Thompson is the epitome of why the Warriors are so dangerous. He’s a great defender who can always help on that side of the ball, and opponents have virtually no chance when he’s scoring 20-plus points as the third- or fourth-best player on the team. There have been some rumblings that Thompson is unhappy with his role in Golden State, but his performance in Game 2 proved he is not letting it affect his game.

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