Warriors guard Klay Thompson is one of the biggest competitors in this era of the NBA.
While the league isn’t what it used to be, Thompson tries to implement what he grew up watching into his game today.
Thompson revealed how that competitive fire came about and even compared himself to an all-time great.
“I think it comes from watching y’all play,” Thompson told former NBA champion and current NBA TV host Steve Smith after the Warriors’ 109-104 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. “Growing up a 90s baby and watching the 90s and 2000s, there were so many competitors. The greatest to ever play this game were the biggest competitors.
“Being the shooting guard I am, I idolized Kobe Bryant. He was never one to make friends out on the floor, he just wanted to win at all costs. And my style resembles that of Reggie Miller. I call myself the modern-day Reggie. And I mean, Reggie got in so many scraps, he got under so many people’s skin so I really love those two guys at the two-guard spot. They left it all out there, man. And that’s what I want to do when I look back at my career, is say man I gave it everything I had and I competed at the highest level I could.”
Miller's trash-talking abilities were backed up with his cold-blooded shooting on the biggest stages and when it mattered most. He didn't seem like the kind of player who would talk trash, but he did it in such an effortless way.
It's not often that Thompson will run his mouth as his teammate Draymond Green does, but that doesn't mean he'll ever back away from a little trash talk. And when an opponent gets him started, they end up paying.
But Thompson's been letting his actions do the talking as of late.
The Splash Bro has been on a heater recently, averaging 28.6 points over the last eight games on 48.5 percent shooting from the field and 47.3 percent from behind the arc.
In the 10 games he played in February, Thompson had six games where he scored 27 points or more. Not to mention his record-breaking game against the Houston Rockets last week.
While his fellow Splash Bro Steph Curry has been sidelined with a left leg injury, Thompson has stepped up and kept that competitive fire well-lit. It's needed for the Warriors, who feed off Thompson's energy and offensive eruptions.
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Thompson recently was cleared to play in back-to-backs for the first time since recovering from consecutive injuries, a big milestone he wanted to achieve because he doesn't enjoy missing games.
And that competitive, Reggie Miller-like mentality will be the stretch run spark the Warriors will need during their final 21 games.