Klay Thompson is one of the most interesting athletes on the planet. Whether he’s playing chess with his bulldog Rocco, chillin’ on his boat or captivating a billion people in China, there’s always intrigue about what the Warriors star is up to now.
Kirk Lacob, the Warriors’ executive VP of basketball operations, keeps up with Klay in the summer the same way we all do: Social media.
“I haven’t gotten to see him in person, but by all accounts, he’s doing great. I’ve seen lots of videos online, which is usually how we keep track of Klay in the summer, so nothing has changed,” Lacob said with a laugh on the "Runnin’ Plays" podcast.
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Klay is a man of mystery, leaving Instagram bread crumbs here and there. He might pop up at a playground, then disappear from public view for weeks. Lacob knows generally Klay has been with his family in Southern California, or at his house in the Bay Area, but exact locations can be a manhunt. Klay’s not big on quickly answering phone calls or texts.
So ... how do the Warriors keep track of him?
“Some days you know where he is, some days you don’t," Lacob explained. "It depends which medium you try to reach out to him on. We actually had a whole ‘Where’s Waldo’ game we played a couple weeks ago where (senior VP of communications) Raymond Ridder was trying to get to him for something. Raymond literally tracked him down in person.”
Ridder gave Klay and Warriors staff daily updates, then hourly updates, to pin down a rendezvous spot. Finally, Ridder sent the word: “I found him, we’re good.”
“I think Klay kind of likes that,” Lacob said. “He likes it when Raymond is chasing him.”
The intrigue continues for how Klay is feeling about 13 months after ACL reconstruction surgery. The last time Klay played at game speed was June 13, 2019, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. That season, Klay averaged 19.5 points per game with a 40.2 three-point percentage.
“This is going to be a long time for him not to have game action,” Lacob said. “It is hard to get your rhythm back. But it seems like he is in great spirits and great shape. He’s shooting a lot, from what I’ve heard.”
A smile then came over Lacob’s face.
“I have often been with him when he starts doing this ...” Lacob said, pausing the conversation to look at an invisible basket and mime a right-handed shot. “And it’s like, 'What are you doing?' ”
"I just -- it feels good," Klay told him. "I need to shoot.”
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Lacob believes the number one thing that makes Klay happy in life is shooting a basketball. The No. 2 thing probably is Rocco.
“Maybe they’re 1A, 1B, I don’t know,” Lacob quipped.
Thinking about Klay getting buckets made Lacob happy.
“Klay, if you watch this, I miss you, man. Text me back.”