Klay Thompson is one of the most universally beloved players in the NBA. The Warriors star's approval rating among fans and fellow players nearly is unanimous.
But that might not have always been the case with one former teammate. At least, not on one night.
The Athletic's Jayson Jenks and Rustin Dodd compiled a list of stories about the Warriors star, highlighting his unique personality. Among them, former Warriors assistant Jerry DeGregorio recalled a game during Thompson's rookie season when Monta Ellis took exception with how many shots his teammate was taking.
"His rookie season, there was a game where Klay took too many 3s for Monta Ellis’s liking," DeGregorio told The Athletic. "During the next timeout, I remember Monta Ellis just ripped into this rookie: 'You’re taking too many shots. Pass the ball. You’re just a rook.' That type of deal.
"I remember watching Klay the whole time, and he never flinched. He never wavered. The very next offensive possession, ball swings, goes to Klay. He takes the first shot and makes a 3. I’m thinking, “This kid is an ice-cold killer.”
As Thompson once told Draymond Green, the Warriors pay the star guard to shoot the ball, so that's what he's going to do.
The Warriors traded Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks later that season in order to open up more playing time for Thompson.
The rest, as they say, is history. Thompson and Steph Curry would become one of the best backcourt duos in NBA history, leading the Warriors to five straight NBA Finals appearances and three championships.
After missing the last two seasons due to severe leg injuries, Thompson is set to rejoin the Warriors this season as he, Curry and Draymond Green look to prove that they still have a lot left in the tank.