Poised for breakout season, Klay declines war of words with Terry

Poised for breakout season, Klay declines war of words with Terry

SAN DIEGO – Klay Thompson declined on Tuesday to get into a word competition with Bucks guard Jason Terry.

Figures. Thompson believes much more in competition than in conversation.

In a recent SiriusXM NBA Radio interview, Terry described Thompson as not a great player but a “B-side” player, a member of a team’s supporting cast.

[RELATED: Klay Thompson responds to Jason Terry's 'B-side player' remark]

Never mind that Thompson’s shooting has put him in the NBA record book. Never mind that Thompson is a two-time All-Star and a member of the U.S. Olympic team, which won a gold medal in August.

Asked about it after the Warriors practiced at UC-San Diego, Thompson expressed zero interest in Terry’s belief.

“My concern is really not trying to prove to Jason Terry I’m an elite superstar,” Thompson said. “It’s to do everything I can to help this team win ballgames.”

Thompson has done a better job of that each season, raising his scoring average and shooting percentages every season since his rookie year in 2011-12, last season reaching 22.1 points per game on 47.0-percent shooting. He also defends well enough to be among the league’s 10 best two-way players.

Yet he tends to be dismissed, and some of it may be his own reticence.

Klay Thompson plays his horn. He does not “blow” his horn.

Here’s an example: Asked on Tuesday about the startling rise in the Warriors’ national popularity the past couple years, Thompson cited two of his teammates.

“It’s globally, as well,” he said, “especially when you’ve got star power like Kevin Durant and Steph Curry on the team.”

Star power. Kevin Durant. Steph Curry.

Not Klay Thompson.

This may be the year that changes, even with Durant and Curry wearing the same jersey. Thompson’s stint with Team USA served as a springboard to what has been an impressive training camp and preseason.

“He came into camp in great shape, which I’m sure was because of his workouts and games with the Olympic team,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s well ahead of where he was at this time last year.”

Thompson through five preseason games leads the Warriors in scoring (19.6 per game) and his shooting 58.3 percent, including 48.6 percent beyond the arc. He has made all 10 of his free throws.

The addition of Durant could create even more open space, and Thompson likely will get cleaner looks that benefit one of the quickest releases in the league.

Not that Jason Terry – who also cited Spurs star Kawhi Leonard as a “B-side” player – would notice.

And not that Thompson would care about what Terry or anyone beyond the Warriors might think.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” he said. “At the end of the day, I go out there and play my hardest. To some people I can be a great player, a good player or an average player. It doesn’t matter.”

Steve Kerr jokes about wanting to trade spots with Andre Iguodala

Steve Kerr jokes about wanting to trade spots with Andre Iguodala

Steve Kerr has accomplished a lot during his playing and coaching career.

He played four seasons for Lute Olson at Arizona. He spent 15 years playing in the NBA, and won five NBA titles during that time.

As a coach, Kerr has made the NBA Finals in each of his first four seasons with the Warriors, and has won three championships.

If you're Steve Kerr, there aren't many people you'd want to trade places with.

Except, there is one Warriors player Kerr would like to be.

"I definitely would trade spots with Andre [Iguodala]," Kerr said on Friday on 95.7 The Game. "I can only imagine what it has felt like to be Andre iguodala over the last 20 years playing basketball. That kind of athleticism, intelligence and feel, I could only dream about being the player he is."

Iguodala, a first-round pick in 2004, has won three titles with Kerr, was named NBA Finals MVP in 2015, was selected to the 2012 NBA All-Star Game and will have earned nearly $170 million through contracts by the time his deal with the Warriors is up.

So, we can understand why Kerr might want to trade places with Iguodala.

[RELATED: Iguodala reveals reason for improved play]

Kerr was asked a really tough question by host Damon Bruce: Who had the better playing career as an Arizona Wildcat, himself or Iguodala?

"How do I answer that?" Kerr joked. "I guess I did because I was there five years and he was there two years."

Dirk Nowitzki remembers one thing most about 2007 Game 6 loss to Warriors

Dirk Nowitzki remembers one thing most about 2007 Game 6 loss to Warriors

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Saturday afternoon at 4 P.T., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

May 3, 2017 is a special day in Golden State Warriors history.

The No. 8 seed Warriors knocked off the No. 1 seed Mavericks in Game 6 at Oracle Arena to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals.

Dirk Nowitzki -- who was named MVP about two weeks later -- had one of the worst games of his career. He scored just eight points and went 2-for-13 from the field.

But it was something that took place off the court that stands out more than anything for Dirk when he thinks about that difficult day.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic has the details:

“Crazy atmosphere,” Dirk remembered. “Crazy. One of the loudest buildings I’ve been in. The fans were so in it, any run they had.”

What does Dirk remember most? The pregame tailgates.

“It doesn’t happen much in basketball,” Dirk said. “Happens more in football, when the fans cookout before. But that was the case when we drove up to the arena two-and-a-half hours, three hours before tip.

“Fans were out there flipping us off, mooning us on our way in. It was crazy. As a competitor, fun to play, but it kind of pushed them to another level. The fans were a big part of that.”

On Saturday night, Dirk will play at Oracle for the last time in his career.

The crowds might not be as consistently loud as they were during the "We Believe" run in 2007, but the man who has scored the sixth most points in NBA history has a lot of respect for the people who have filled up Oracle over the years.

[RELATEDSteph Curry will not play when Warriors host Luka Doncic, Mavericks]

“Oracle was always a fun place to play,” Nowitzki told The Athletic. “Even in the years early in my career, when the team wasn’t good, I thought the fans were always amazing there. Always great crowds. Always loud when they made runs. A great stop.

“They say the fans have changed a little bit. Because, yeah, obviously the ticket prices are a little higher than they used to be 20 years ago. But I didn’t really notice. It’s still super loud. Honestly, when Steph gets on one of his runs and starts shooting 3s from 35 feet, the place goes absolutely bonkers.”

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