Warriors

As Zaza Pachulia returns to Warriors, bromance with Klay Thompson is back

As Zaza Pachulia returns to Warriors, bromance with Klay Thompson is back

After a one-season hiatus, one of the NBA’s most bizarre yet comical friendships has once again joined forces. Well, not quite as Zaza Pachulia has joined the Warriors front office as a consultant after one season playing for the Detroit Pistons.

With Pachulia set to reunite with former teammate Klay Thompson, let’s take a look back at some of the more hilarious moments in what is one of the NBA’s strongest bromances.

October 21, 2016

Klay was frustrated after practice about blowing a tire on the way into the facility. A reporter asked which teammate Thompson would call first if he needed help with a tire, and he mentioned Zaza.

“(Pauses to think, smiles) Probably Zaza, he just looks like a handyman. I don’t know. He looks like he could lift a car. You don’t need a tire jack with Pachulia, he’ll just lift your car for you,” Thompson said.

December 5, 2016

After Klay’s record-setting performance, his locker neighbor shared a selfie congratulating Thompson.


May 12, 2017

After a playoff game in which Zaza scored seven points and Klay scored six, Pachulia was not about to let his All-Star teammate forget about it, giving a gift to remember the special night by.

Thompson responded the same day with his own shot at the big man's ability to fish.

"Nice photoshop Klay," Zaza replied on the Instagram post.

June 8, 2018

Once the Warriors clinched a second consecutive NBA championship, Pachulia tried to get a classic family photo during the celebration. No surprise here, but one of his teammates had to jump in.

View this post on Instagram

Pachulias and some dude @klaythompson

A post shared by Zaza Pachulia (@zazapachulia) on


August 24, 2019

After Klay posted a vacation selfie from France, his former teammate had to chime in.

"Finally somebody loves you bro," Zaza commented.

[RELATED: Watch Klay Thompson knock down jump shots to delight of Warriors fans]

I for one can’t wait for more viral moments between these two, although the dynamic may be different now that Pachulia has a role in the front office as opposed to on the roster.

Watch Steph Curry, Klay Thompson's 10 most clutch shots with Warriors

Watch Steph Curry, Klay Thompson's 10 most clutch shots with Warriors

If you're a Warriors fan and you woke up Thursday feeling very nostalgic, it makes perfect sense:

In honor of the historic day, we decided to put together the top 10 most-clutch shots from Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

These are in chronological order and only include the postseason.

Enjoy!

1) In Game 3 of the first round of the playoffs in 2015, the Warriors trailed the New Orleans Pelicans by 15 points with less than five minutes remaining. Somehow, this happened:

Curry finished with 40 points and Golden State outlasted New Orleans in overtime to take a commanding three-games-to-zero series lead.

2) Curry sprained his right MCL in Game 4 of the Warriors' first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets in 2016. He missed the next four games before returning for Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Through three quarters, he was 0-for-9 from 3-point range. But he started to heat up in the fourth and then proceeded to score 17 points in overtime -- the most in a single OT in NBA history.

Hey, speaking of that "I'm here, I'm back" shot:

The Warriors won 132-125 to take a three-games-to-one series lead.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

3) 4) 5) These three shots really don't need introductions:

Unbelievable stuff.

6) In Game 6 of the 2019 Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets, Steph didn't score a single point in the first half (Klay kept the Warriors afloat with 21 points). But then he did this:

7) And then about a minute later:

As Warriors coach Steve Kerr said on "The Bill Simmons Podcast" months back:

"If I look back at these last five years -- if I had to say what was my favorite game -- it would be Game 6 in Houston last year. Holy s--t. This defines our team. This game defines what our guys are about.

We had a possession late in the game that sealed it basically. Remember, Steph and Draymond were running that side pick-and-roll over and over again and Steph was going nuts.

The final dagger was -- Houston had adjusted, they double teamed Steph, he hits Draymond in the pocket, they come over to rotate to Draymond, he hits Andre along the baseline and Andre kicks it back to Klay for a 3-pointer.

That play to me defines what our team has been about for the last five years. The ball movement, the spacing, the beautiful vision and awareness of Andre and Draymond, and the lethal play of Steph and Klay."

8) 9) 10) In Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, the Warriors -- facing elimination -- led the Toronto Raptors 95-91 with less than six minutes remaining. But the Raptors went on a big run and led 103-97 with just over two minutes and 30 seconds left.

Klay got things going in the right direction with a 3-pointer to make it 103-100 at the 2:32 mark. These two shots followed:

[RELATED: Watch 12 shots from Steph's career that ruined basketball]

The "Splash Brothers" have provided the Warriors and their fans some incredible memories.

And everybody associated with the Dubs is hoping they force this article to be updated over the next couple of years.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Michael Jordan's 'I'm back' decision changed Steve Kerr's life forever

Michael Jordan's 'I'm back' decision changed Steve Kerr's life forever

Editor’s note: Sports Uncovered, the newest podcast from NBC Sports, will shine a fresh light on the most unforgettable moments in sports. The first episode, “I’m Back,” tells never-before-heard stories about the two-word fax from Michael Jordan that changed the course of NBA history.

Some people are blessed with a telescopic view of the planet and their place in it. Steve Kerr is among them.

That’s why his predominant opinion of Michael Jordan is appreciation.

No doubt Kerr could harbor bitterness in the aftermath of that Chicago Bulls practice when MJ – in one of his many moments of deranged competitiveness – punched his teammate in the eye. Kerr could have clung to that memory, letting it fester for decades and influence any comment he makes about Jordan.

If Kerr were not the man he is, he might be as sour about his face meeting Jordan’s fist as MJ is about not receiving a postgame handshake from Isiah Thomas.

To retain such resentment, however, Kerr would have to obscure, if not completely disregard, all that has come his way since being a member of those iconic Bulls teams led by Jordan.

Besides, a man with mountaintop perspective doesn’t allow one brutal moment to eclipse his five-year Chicago experience, which yielded his first three championship rings and filled his life with cherished memories.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

“It completely changed the rest of my life,” Kerr told NBC Sports. “Playing with Michael Jordan changed the entire course of my career."

“I was able to play on these championship teams, made a name for myself, was able to get into TV, broadcasting, management, coaching and the reason people hired for me these jobs later on is because I played next to Michael Jordan. . .. I owe him everything.”

There is a sprinkle of exaggeration in those last four words. Kerr’s drive, his insight and his temperament, deserve a considerable share of credit.

Which does not dilute Kerr’s greater point, expressed in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago, which is producing a documentary focusing on Jordan’s March 1995 return to the NBA. This was Steve seeing what has transpired over the last 25 years and, moreover, knowing its origin.

Kerr’s vocation is basketball. He went from a 20-year playing career (college and NBA) that launched him into a front-office position in Phoenix, an analyst position with TNT and coaching position with the Warriors.

These opportunities have afforded Kerr’s family a very comfortable living, providing the benefit of a secure financial bubble without blinding him to some of the grim realities of the world beyond his nose. He meets with politicians. He addresses gun violence and voting rights and homelessness and racism and sexism. Kerr has and continues to passionately devote himself to these and other issues germane to civilized society.

Would Kerr’s megaphone attract anything more than passing notice if he’d spent the heart of his NBA career as the ninth man on the Hawks or the Warriors? No way. Kerr’s platform is substantial, and its base was constructed during his time with the Bulls and Jordan.

Being the head coach of the Warriors – a suddenly wildly successful franchise previously most often identified ineptitude – has been a factor in his access. It opened doors in the loftiest hallways in America. Some of his profile can be attributed to his commitment to certain principles and willingness to speak his mind on topics avoided by most others in his profession.

Most of it, though, is directly related to his time as one of the most revered and celebrated sports teams in the history of global sports. He was a Jordanaire. A member of the Bulls. The Michael Jordan Bulls.

[RELATED: Steve Kerr gets emotional in 'Last Dance' recalling dad's 1984 murder]

And even though MJ lorded over proceedings with an iron fist he rarely bothered gloving, Kerr did more than survive. He prospered. And his grip on reality, with its high highs and low lows, provides a strong sense of perspective.

There is no way to know the direction Kerr’s life might have taken if his prime years weren’t with those Bulls. Guess at your own peril.

It’s easy, however, to see the life he has now. Even with residual agony of multiple back surgeries, Kerr is mindful enough to see his good fortune better than anyone.