Klay Thompson thinks he could fill the void for the Dallas Mavericks following his departure from the Golden State Warriors

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Klay Thompson answer the questions in a conference

Klay Thompson recalls telling Luka Doncic that he saw immense potential in him after Golden State defeated the Mavericks in the Western Conference finals two years ago.

Now, having left the team he played with for 13 years to join Doncic and Kyrie Irving in Texas, Thompson is eager to celebrate victories alongside the 25-year-old star rather than consoling him after losses.

“He handled defeat graciously,” Thompson said of Doncic during his introduction at the Mavericks’ news conference on Tuesday. “I admire someone who embraces the moment and competes until the end. Luka embodies that spirit. I believe we’ll bring out the best in each other.”

The Warriors clinched their fourth championship with Thompson and Stephen Curry in 2022.

Two years later, Thompson faced a challenging season that concluded with a disappointing performance — scoring zero points on 0-for-10 shooting in a loss to Sacramento during the play-in tournament.

Thompson suspected this might mark the end of his tenure with the team that drafted him 11th overall in 2011. His decision to choose Doncic and Irving over LeBron James and Anthony Davis in free agency disappointed his father, Mychal Thompson, a former Los Angeles Lakers player-turned-broadcaster.

Watching the Mavericks fall to Boston in the NBA Finals played a significant role in his decision.

“As I watched as a basketball fan, I thought, ‘I could really contribute to this team. They’re right there,'” Thompson explained. “It wouldn’t take major changes, just minor adjustments to push them over the edge. We’re close to breaking through, and that’s what really excited me about coming here.”

Quentin Grimes responds the questions in the conference

Thompson joined the Mavericks through a sign-and-trade deal involving six teams, signing a $50 million, three-year contract at age 34, having been selected as an All-Star five times.

Dallas also signed forward Naji Marshall to a three-year, $27 million deal in free agency and acquired Quentin Grimes from Detroit by trading Tim Hardaway Jr. and three second-round picks to the Pistons.

Marshall and Grimes were already part of the team when they learned about Thompson joining.

“I told everyone, ‘I’m going to get a championship ring,'” said Grimes, a Houston native known for his shooting prowess. “As one of the best shooters ever, I’ll learn from him every day. We have a great group of guys, and with Klay joining us, the potential is unlimited.”

Thompson has faced challenges in recent years due to knee and Achilles injuries that kept him out for 2 1/2 seasons. Last season, he posted his lowest scoring average in 11 years (17.9 points per game) and shot 38.7% from 3-point range, matching one of his career lows.

Despite starting only 14 times in 77 games last season, a departure from his usual role, Thompson had not come off the bench regularly since his rookie year. This explains why Stephen Curry, his longtime teammate known as his “Splash Brother,” expressed his hope that Thompson finds joy in the game again.

“There were tough times last year when the joy wasn’t as much as before,” Thompson admitted. “It’s refreshing to leave that behind and start anew with a new group of guys, in a new city. It’s really exciting, and I’m eager for this opportunity.”

Thompson mentioned that one of the first players to reach out to him was Irving, whose career has thrived in Dallas. Both players entered the NBA in 2011—Irving as the No. 1 overall pick by Cleveland—and faced each other in three consecutive NBA Finals.

Naji Marshall smiles while answering the questions

While his friendship with Irving played a role, Dallas’s recent success, including two trips to the Western Conference finals in three years, was a significant factor in attracting Thompson, marking a major acquisition for the team after years of disappointments.

“Everyone wants to be part of a winning team,” said assistant general manager Michael Finley, who played for the Mavs and has been in the front office for ten years.

“In the past, Dallas has had some successful teams, but we struggled to consistently win. Nowadays, it’s easy to attract athletes with the promise of winning.”

Thompson understands what it takes to win and believes he can help Luka Doncic achieve the same success that Dirk Nowitzki did in his 21 seasons with Dallas, setting an NBA record for longevity with one team.

“At this stage of my career, opponents still can’t leave me open. I can play defense, and I’m excited,” said Thompson, a 41.3% 3-point shooter who ranks sixth all-time in made 3-pointers.

“I know I can contribute to this team, whether through my experience or by having big scoring nights. I’m confident I can still be a very effective player in this league.” Now, Thompson joins forces with one of the NBA’s top young talents.


By Robert Jackson

An avid football fan (A red). And an Otaku by the definition of the word.

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