Livingston never pictured 'China Klay' becoming such a thing


Shaun Livingston was teammates with Klay Thompson for five seasons from 2014 to 2019, so he has an intimate understanding of the unique personality that is the Warriors' star shooting guard.

"He is a free spirit," Livingston said of Klay this week on the "Runnin' Plays" podcast with Grant Liffmann and Kerith Burke. "We all have those friends that tick to their drum, and you don't want them to tick to anybody else's drum. Stick to your drum.

"And that's Klay. He does it well and better than anybody. I love him for that."

So what makes him such a great teammate?

"That he is that free spirit," Livingston -- now the Warriors' director, players affairs and engagement -- said. "He's not judgmental, you can tell him anything. And then some of the things that he might say or do, you're just like, 'What?' And then you're like, 'Oh. He's a free spirit. OK. I get it.'

"The 'China Klay' (thing) -- that's amazing. I never would have pictured that. But, you see it, and you're like, 'That's Klay.' "

"China Klay" was born in late June 2017, a couple of weeks after the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers four-games-to-one in the NBA Finals.

The three-time NBA champion -- whose endorsement deal with Anta reportedly runs through 2026 -- has a huge following in China.

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Klay -- who is beloved around the world -- specifically delivered a message to his fans in China earlier this summer.

"Today I'm here to announce that my mind and body are 100 percent ready to get back on the court," he said. "I can't wait to play again. And I can't wait for Anta to release my special shoes on July 11 in China."

Dub Nation can't wait to see the five-time NBA All-Star take the court whenever the 2020-21 season begins.

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