Warriors

Klay had important championship message for young Warriors

Warriors
Klay Thompson, Jonathan Kuminga

Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman, Jordan Poole and Moses Moody haven't shared the court with Klay Thompson yet, but that doesn't mean the Warriors star shooting guard hasn't been giving them important lessons as they get their NBA feet wet.

"Banners are timeless," Thompson told Sports Illustrated's Howard Beck about his message to the young Warriors. "Records are meant to be broken. Individual statistics are meant to be topped. But banners hang forever. I try to tell these young guys that no one cares what your stats are by the end of season. The goal of the game is to win the game."

Thompson's injuries combined with Kevin Durant's exodus and Steph Curry's broken hand in 2019 allowed the Warriors to build a plan for life after their big three while simultaneously preparing to re-ignite the Curry-Thompson-Draymond Green dynasty. That plan ended with the Warriors netting Wiseman with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft and Kuminga and Moody in the first round of the 2021 draft.

The Warriors have opened the season 25-6, giving Thompson ample time to get back into peak basketball shape before his expected January return. The five-time All-Star knows what this team is capable of, but also wants Kuminga, Wiseman and Co. to understand the expectations when they take the mantle from him, Curry and Green.

“We’re a championship team,” Thompson told Beck. “So when they do step in and take our minutes, we expect them to have the same success we did, as far as just being a contender year in and year out.”

 
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While Wiseman has yet to take the floor this season, the Warriors have seen great things from Kuminga and Moody in their limited NBA minutes and Poole has filled in nicely as the team's starting shooting guard in Thompson's absence.

The plan is admittedly bold. Winning now while building for the future is something that is rarely achieved in professional sports. But if there is any team that can achieve it, it's the franchise that is known for being "light years" ahead.

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