Klay Thompson is looking forward to the opportunity to face the team he grew up rooting against in the 2022 NBA Finals.
As a Los Angeles native, Thompson was raised to cheer on the Lakers and boo the Boston Celtics. His dad, Mychal Thompson, also played for the Lakers from 1986-91. So before Klay was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 2011, it's safe to say the Thompson family bled Purple and Gold.
2022 NBA Finals predictions: Expert picks for Celtics-Warriors series
That makes this upcoming series even more special for Thompson, who's set to make his sixth NBA Finals appearance. He spoke on Wednesday about what it means for him to take on the C's.
"My rookie year, just playing that team of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and KG (Kevin Garnett), that was like a 'welcome to the NBA' moment for me because just a couple years prior I was watching them battle Kobe (Bryant) and Pau (Gasol) in the Finals," Thompson said. "I was just mesmerized by how great those teams were, both the Lakers and the Celtics.
"So, life comes full circle. Now being able to play them in the Finals, like, I was watching them in college, Game 7 at Staples (Center) with my dad in 2010. Now it's 12 years later I get to play the team that I was rooting against. It's amazing."
That has to be a surreal feeling for the five-time All-Star, even with six Finals appearances and three NBA titles under his belt.
Thompson likely will be a thorn in Boston's side throughout the series with 3-point shooting. The 32-year-old has the second-most 3-pointers made (57) in the 2022 playoffs, trailing only teammate Stephen Curry (60). With one more, he'll tie LeBron James for the second-most 3s made in NBA postseason history (432).
Game 1 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET Thursday at Chase Center. Be sure to tune in to NBC Sports Boston for Celtics Pregame Live at 7:30 p.m.