It’s well known that Warriors forward Draymond Green memorized the name of every player selected in front of him in the 2012 NBA Draft, but as it turns out, Green’s teammate Klay Thompson has a long memory as well.
It’s nothing like Green’s, however, who was selected No. 35 overall. But after Thompson caught fire against the Kings in a 124-116 Warriors win at Chase Center on Thursday, he revealed his own motivating memories from the year he was selected No. 11 overall, 2011.
Upon being asked by NBC Sports’ Bonta Hill why he seems to have a lot of success against Sacramento (Thompson scored an NBA record 37 points in a quarter against the Kings in 2015), Thompson replied with a jaw-dropper.
“Hey man, 2011 NBA Draft: with the 10th pick, the Sacramento Kings don’t select me. People don’t forget. That’s all I gotta say,” Thompson said.
Kings fans, I feel your pain. But man, better you than me. Besides, Dub Nation already had to watch the Warriors select center Todd Fuller when the late, great Kobe Bryant was still very much available. (If you’re old enough to remember, that is.) But just to pour a little salt in the wound with a pertinent and incredible fact, the Kings acquired Jimmer Fredette with the No. 10 pick.
Like, wow. Fredette was ballyhooed as a long-distance shooter but never found his footing in the NBA, averaging just six points per game in seven seasons. That’s gotta hurt for Kings fans.
Okay, back to Klay. Here’s what caused all the commotion on Thursday. Thompson started the night 7-for-7 from the field, including 6-for-6 from 3-point range. It was breathtaking, and for a moment, another 37-point quarter seemed very realistic.
That looked a lot like 2015.
It was a scintillating 20 points in 10 minutes for Thompson, who took just two shots in the second half and finished with 23 points and an eyebrow-raising seven assists. I say that because Thompson appears to have improved his passing skills since he returned from his two catastrophic injuries.
His shot is coming along, too, clearly. If Thompson wasn’t getting reacclimated to the NBA after more than two seasons of rehab, he may have kept putting up the points on Thursday. Especially because when he sees the Kings, he doesn’t see purple, he sees red.
Who knew Thompson had that much Green in him when it comes to that sort of thing? I didn’t. But I’m also not surprised. Thompson’s confidence is supreme, though he often looks a bit aloof and has a quirky personality. It’s a perfect storm of personality and skill. And the Kings certainly wish the dynamic Thompson was on their side — rather than a bus ride away in San Francisco, so close yet so far away.
And for your reference and entertainment: