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Klay Thompson surprised Kevin Durant joined Warriors, won't cede shots to him

Klay Thompson surprised Kevin Durant joined Warriors, won't cede shots to him

Klay Thompson wants to make one thing clear: He will not be ceding shots or adjusting his game to accommodate new Warriors teammate Kevin Durant. Sorry, not going to happen. 

He laid out his position in an interview with The Vertical.

When asked for his initial reaction to learning Durant was joining Golden State, Thompson said he was stunned. And not just because his brother had woken him up with the news. 

"I didn’t believe it at first when he told me, so I had to check my phone and verify it. I was like, ‘Seriously? KD really chose us?’" he said. "It was an incredible moment for our organization, and I was psyched. We had the final form of our team. And then I went back to sleep.”

The 26-year-old shooting guard is reportedly a cool-headed, tranquil personality. The type of guy who falls back asleep after learning that his team added a megastar who does the same thing he does: take and make shots. That he would be sharing the ball with not one, but two recent NBA MVPs. 

Perhaps Thompson sleeps easy at night because he buys the pitch that lured Durant in the first place: The Warriors won a championship without asking its stars to sacrifice their individual games. 

And why wouldn't he buy it? Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green were all three named All-Stars last year. Each seemed to perform at their personal best with the others on the court. Nobody took anybody else's proverbial shine. 

And that's not about to start now. So stop asking Thompson how many shots he'll have to give up to Durant. 

“I’ve been hearing it on every stop,” he said of the question. “I feel kind of disrespected that people keep using the term sacrifice to describe me and describe [other Warriors players]."

“We all want to see each other do well. But I’m not sacrificing [expletive], because my game isn’t changing. I’m still going to try to get buckets, hit shots, come off screens. I want to win and have a fun time every game we play."

I’m not sacrificing [expletive], because my game isn’t changing. Is the Splash Brother repeating a reassuring message? Or is he firing warning shots, giving everyone advanced notice of where he stands?

Either way, there's a bold line in that sand. 

He went on to say that he relishes the prospect of playing the villain. Facing animus on nightly basis should make the 82-game slog a more colorful experience. 

And the Warriors will almost certainly be an offensive juggernaut. Not unlike the U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team, on which Thompson and Durant are already teammates. They will travel and compete alongside each other in Rio. 

KD, for his part, insisted he wouldn't want Thompson to take a back seat. That's not part of the gameplan. 

“We want Klay to stay Klay. We don’t want him to change," Durant said. "The games dictate where the shots come from. I may shoot 12 shots one night; Klay may shoot eight or nine shots one night, and Steph may shoot 25 shots one night. And it could be a different flow another night.”

The first-person plural indicates that Durant already considers Golden State his team. That's probably been the case everywhere he's played. Other than that presumption, he struck the right tone for an interloper.

The explanation doesn't make much sense, though. Thompson, who averaged 17.3 shots per game last year, can't have many nights of single-digit attempts without a big change. Neither can Curry or Durant. 

If the trio combines for 12, 8 and 25 shots – regardless of who's taking which number – at least two players will be shooting significantly less than they used to. 

Thompson doesn't plan to be one of them. 

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

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The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

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Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

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2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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