Klay Thompson: 'That's why it would be hard for me to leave' the Warriors

Klay Thompson: 'That's why it would be hard for me to leave' the Warriors

There really isn't anything else Klay Thompson can say that would further cement his desire to stay with the Warriors beyond the 2018-19 season.

He will be an unrestricted free agent in July, and he repeatedly has expressed that he wants to re-sign with the only franchise he has suited up for.

But as he ever thought about having his own team?

"I don't know what having your own team really means," Klay said in a 1-on-1 sitdown with Stadium's Shams Charania. "I know what it means to be the leader, the captain, the stat-stuffer and all that. But I don't think this is Steph's team, I don't think this is KD's team, I don't think this is Draymond's team, my team, Andre, Coach Kerr. I think this is our team because without each one of us, we lose a huge part of this team. I think we all understand that.

"I've been to the mountaintop. I know what it feels like to win and win with some of your best friends. And that's why it would be hard for me to leave just because I've put so much blood, sweat and tears in this building and with this franchise. I've had my ups and downs, but I couldn't imagine myself being somewhere else.

"It's easy for me to say that now, but with time things change. It's hard for me to envision what goes on in nine months. I'm just focused on this off night I got tonight and this off day I got tomorrow. I'm gonna enjoy that to the fullest."

Klay -- the 11th pick in the 2011 draft (he wears No. 11) -- will turn 29 years old on Feb. 8. He has been an All-Star for four consecutive years and was named Third-Team All-NBA in 2015 and 2016.

Does he consider himself the best two-way, two-guard in the league?

"Sure (as he shrugs his shoulder and shakes his head), but that's not something I'm gunning for," he said. "I just want to be the best player I can be. There's so much coverage these days -- there's player rankings, position rankings -- I used to care about that stuff. I heard John Stockton have a quote once actually about basketball being such a team sport and not getting caught up in that stuff.

"That really resonated with me. If one of the greatest point guards ever thinks that, then I'm gonna take that same mindset ... I just really want to be the best team we can be because I think that means so much more than being the best player at your position.

"If you can be a part of a team that wins championships, you'll be a legend in your respective city and be able to have an impact beyond basketball, and that's what my goal is."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

NBA rumors: Could Kevin Durant return from torn Achilles this season?

NBA rumors: Could Kevin Durant return from torn Achilles this season?

Could Kevin Durant make his Chase Center debut this season after all? 

Durant ruptured his Achilles tendon in his last game as a Warrior in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 10, and the Brooklyn Nets star was expected to miss the entirety of the upcoming NBA season while he recovered. The New York Post's Brian Lewis reported Saturday that many around the league don't expect that to be the case. 

The Nets will make their first visit to the Warriors' new arena in San Francisco on March 12, 2020. That will be just over nine months after Durant first tore his Achilles, and the 276 days between NBA games would put Durant within the range of other basketball stars who returned from the injury within a calendar year. 

[RELATED: Klay should sit out two years, one top knee doctor says]

Durant, who announced he would join the Nets before free agency officially began, playing at Chase Center in one of his first games back from the injury would add plenty of intrigue to the building's inaugural season. The superstar recently admitted that he never really felt like he fit in the Warriors locker room, and Durant's criticism of Steve Kerr's offense serves as further proof that Durant was unsettled during his three-season tenure in the Bay Area. 

As a result, Durant's short Warriors stint will loom large as long as he remains sidelined. If he's able to return from injury in time to suit up at Chase Center in a Nets uni next March, he'll have a chance to turn the page in what instantly would become one of the most-anticipated matchups of the NBA season. 

Warriors' Klay Thompson should sit out two years, top knee doctor says

Warriors' Klay Thompson should sit out two years, top knee doctor says

We’ve seen plenty of footage of Klay Thompson walking around enjoying his summer vacation, but according to one knee doctor, the Warriors star should sit out the next two years to ensure he returns to form.

Dr. Tim Hewett, who consulted the Mayo Clinic and has studied the biomechanics of the knee for years, published a study that concluded athletes who tear their ACL should not return to action for two years. 

It’s worth noting that Dr. Hewett has not done any kind of consulting or in-person evaluation of Thompson’s injury.

“Please do share that with Klay,” Dr. Hewett told Heavy.com. “This is not my opinion. People say to me, ‘Well, that is your opinion, there are other opinions.’ No, I deal in science and I deal in fact. People don’t like to hear it but it does not change the facts, and that facts are that you’re at risk for re-injury before two years and you won’t be the same player in the first year.”

Thompson suffered the injury in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, and both he and the Warriors have not committed to a firm timetable for his return to the court.

[RELATED: Klay Thompson proclaims Warriors' championship dynasty 'far from over']

Klay's father, Mychal, said this summer that he expects his son to be back on the court “late next season.”

While Warriors fans likely want to see Klay back in uniform as soon as possible, it's also imperative that he's 100 percent before he jumps back into a live NBA game.