Klay Thompson won't play the rest of the season, but he's still trying to help the Warriors.
Thompson watched Golden State in Phoenix on Saturday, cheering on his teammates from the sideline as the eight-man Warriors snapped an eight-game losing streak and beat the Suns. The 30-year-old told The Athletic's Anthony Slater he was able to watch his brother, Trayce Thompson, play in a spring training game in his bid to make the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Whether that was the sole reason for Thompson's trip, the three-time NBA champion played the role of motivational prankster before the Warriors' win. Thompson, Slater reported, wrote over a message on a TV in the visiting locker room welcoming back Warriors with Suns ties -- Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, coach Steve Kerr and assistants Jarron Collins, Nick U'Ren and Bruce Fraser -- with a message of his own.
"They didn't want ya!!" Thompson's hastily scribbled note read.
It seemed to work. The Warriors gutted out a 115-99 win Saturday, with Bender and Chriss combining for 24 points and 18 rebounds. Golden State was plus-15 with Chriss on the floor and plus-8 when Bender played.
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Bender's 10-day contract is closer to its end than the beginning, but Saturday marked his best performance in a Golden State uniform. The No. 4 pick in the 2016 draft could sign another 10-day contract, but a more permanent stay in the Bay Area isn't guaranteed.
If Bender follows in Chriss' footsteps as the latest former Sun to become a Warriors success story, Thompson will have to write a different note for the Bosnian big man.