Damning new report on Klay Thompson’s attitude and impact on exit from Golden State Warriors

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN will one day do a “30 for 30” on Klay Thompson and the dynastic Golden State Warriors. It will include Stephen Curry’s selection in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft and Klay following him to the Bay two years later.

It will incude the amazing run to an NBA title in 2015, blowing the championship a year later and winning back-to-back after Kevin Durant joined the squad.

It will certainly include Durant’s exit, the Warriors’ injury issues, Green’s antics and a rebirth to win another title in 2022.

Now that Thompson’s 13-year tenure is a thing of the past, Warriors fans and the broader NBA community is looking at the run that was. We are also checking in on just how it fell apart.

Thompson was acquired on Monday by the Dallas Mavericks in a sign-and-trade with Golden State. It comes after his relationship with the organization had deteriorated beyond repair. It also comes after a drama-filled 2023-24 campaign that resulted in Golden State missing out on the playoffs for the third time in five seasons.

With Golden State’s dynasty now officially over, we’re hearing more about how Thompson played a role. It’s not great.

Related: Winners and losers from Klay Thompson sign-and-trade

“Sulking” Klay Thompson was “exhausting” for the Golden State Warriors

Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors
Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

As noted above, the 2023-24 season was drama-filled for Thompson and his Warriors. At one point, head coach Steve Kerr removed him from the starting five to a bench role. It did not sit well with Thompson initially.

“It was not an easy conversation,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said at the time of the benching. “This is maybe the hardest part about getting further away from our prime. It’s just, after 12 years [of Thompson starting], it wasn’t easy. And still moving forward, it’s not going to be easy. But I told him, ‘If you really embrace it, you can help your team win.’”

This was obviously Kerr’s way of putting lipstick on a pig of a situation. Fast forward several months, and we’re hearing more damning information regarding Thompson’s attitude.

“Klay has been equally as exhausting behind the scenes. It’s not as loud. It’s not as loud because it’s not you stomping on someone’s chest. If he’s slamming stuff on the bench and sulking, and doing that on the court, how do you think it is in practice? How do you think it is in the locker room? It has been uncomfortable. It has. It just doesn’t come out as loudly as Draymond Green.”

Warriors insider Jason Dumas on Klay Thompson, via 95.7 The Game

That doesn’t sound too great.

As this situation played out behind the scenes, Thompson was in the midst of putting up his worst statistical performance since the four-time NBA champion’s sophomore season back in 2012-13.

  • Klay Thompson stats (2023-24): 17.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, 43% shooting, 39% 3-point

In the end, Thompson landed in Dallas via a three-year, $50 million contract. That’s much less than he was angling for at the start of NBA free agency.

As for why Thompson did not return to San Francisco, there were other factors in play.

Read more: Winners and losers from NBA free agency, including the Golden State Warriors

Yahoo! Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer reports that the Warriors told Thompson he would be coming off the bench in favor of youngster Brandin Podziemski.

“If Thompson had returned to Golden State, the Warriors planned to bring Thompson off the bench behind sophomore guard Brandin Podziemski, sources said, after Golden State started its prized rookie for a good stretch during the second half of last season, Fischer wrote.

Yeah. A reunion was never happening.

In the end, Golden State received two second-round picks and a trade exception for a franchise legend.

But at least he’ll have his jersey retired in San Francisco.

Whether Klay will be on hand remains to be seen. This was obviously a really ugly situation behind the scenes. This leak from the Warriors’ oganization only adds another layer to it.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: