OAKLAND -- Insofar as Klay Thompson is about as iron as any man in the NBA, alarms sounded when he couldn’t come out for Warriors-76ers tipoff Thursday.
After two days of chugging fluids to avoid the possibility of dehydration, Thompson was back with the Warriors on Saturday, leading his team’s scoring and teasing Lakers fans scattered throughout Oracle Arena.
While they were chanting, “We want Thompson,” the five-time All-Star was dancing on the heads of their favorite team, scoring a game-high 28 points as the Warriors closed out a 115-101 win.
“I didn’t really hear it,” Thompson said unconvincingly. “They were way up there.
“It’s part of the game. It comes from a good place, I guess.”
No doubt it comes from a good place. Though Thompson has consistently expressed his desire to re-sign with the Warriors after becoming a free agent this summer, the Lakers would love to add him to a team short on great 3-point shooting.
“I look at the bright side,” Thompson said. “It means you’re wanted, so that means you’re doing something right. It’s part of our business. People love, especially when free agency season comes, they love speculating who’s going to go where and who’s going to shift the dynamics of the NBA. It’s good for our sport. It draws interest.”
There are several reasons that the idea of Thompson joining the Lakers always gets traction to feed the speculation. One, he spent most of his teenage years in Southern California, where he was a high school star. Two, his father, Mychal Thompson, proudly bleeds Lakers gold, having been on two championship teams and currently an analyst on the radio broadcasts.
Then there is the third reason. They hope the Warriors aren’t willing to offer Thompson a contract that he can’t resist.
There also is zero doubt Thompson heard the chants. They were loud enough for Warriors fans to raise their volume in attempts to obscure the noise.
If any player can perform despite very audible outside noise, it's Thompson. When he locks in, not much can distract him. He was locked in from the start, scoring 23 points in the first half on 9-of-12 shooting, including 3 of 4 from beyond the arc.
He was 10 of 15, including 4 of 7 from deep, adding five rebounds and two assists. He was plus-11 over 36 minutes, so he must be OK.
“I felt good,” he said. “Luckily, the sickness is nearly gone, and I felt really refreshed.”
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The Lakers were 7 of 27 (25.9 percent) from deep. They’re shooting 33.7 percent this season, ranking 27th in the 30-team league.
Makes one understand why their fans are clamoring for Thompson -- even as the front office is trying to put together a trade to acquire Pelicans star Anthony Davis.