The Warriors and their fans were jubilant on Friday night after beating the Grizzlies to make it back to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2019. But the good vibes radiated from guard Klay Thompson like no other.
He battled back from two-plus seasons worth of major injuries to help push the Warriors to this point, and in the clinching game against Memphis, the world witnessed the return of “Game 6 Klay.” Known during Golden State’s championship run for hitting big shots when Golden State has its back up against the wall in the playoffs, Thompson again had a huge game to push his team to another level.
He scored 30 points, including a dagger 3-pointer late, and he added eight rebounds three blocks, and two assists. He jumped for joy after his dagger, throwing six fingers in the air. After the game, Thompson took to Instagram to celebrate. He used a classic Jay-Z lyric to compare himself to Mike Tyson, Michael Jackson, and even “Game 6” Michael Jordan.
Jay-Z’s line is one he’s used at least a couple of times with a bit of variety. In this case, he threw in the words “Game 6.” Bulls legend Michael Jordan closed five of his six NBA Finals wins in Game 6, including his last Finals victory against the Jazz.
We know that Jay-Z’s line, and the way he says “Game 6,” was resonating with Thompson postgame, and perhaps he was singing it in his head during the game, too. He’s earned all the fun he can have after finally making it back to the court and performing just as he used to before his injuries.
Here he is talking after the game about when he hit his dagger and then threw his fingers in the air.
“Well, 30 sounds way better than 27,” Thompson said. “On top of that, I had a lot of pent-up energy these last couple years, and to be in this situation and to seal the game there, it all came out. I just know how hard it is to get to this part of the season, and it all just came out for me. To see the Warrior fans, it’s a moment I tried to revel in for the few seconds I had.”The Athletic
You get a sense that the entire NBA is enjoying the return of Thompson, not just Warriors fans. It’s an incredible story that just keeps getting better, as Golden State continues its rise back to the top of the NBA after missing the playoffs for two seasons. It’s no coincidence Thompson’s absence coincided with the Warriors’ postseason drought, either.
Thompson’s latest Game 6 moment was special — even special enough to compare oneself to Tyson, Jackson, and Jordan. He never had a doubt he was all the way back from his injuries, and essentially, he is. The Warriors are back too, but it’s likely Game 6 Klay will be needed again. Luckily for Bay Area basketball fans, Klay’s mastery in the clutch is in vintage form.
EXTRA: Thompson has averaged 28.1 points in his last seven Game 6 matchups.