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Klay shares honest response to Draymond’s ejections, suspensions

In Sports
April 09, 2024

Klay shares honest response to Draymond’s ejections, suspensions originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

By now, just about everyone and their grandmas have expressed how they feel about Draymond Green and his history of technicals, ejections and suspensions during his NBA career.

But his longtime teammate, Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson, recently weighed in on the matter for the first time publicly during an appearance on “The Draymond Green Show.” After Green admitted that he was scared to ask Thompson for his truth, he wanted the Splash Bro to be brutally honest.

It took a few moments for Thompson to gather his thoughts, but after several seconds of silence, he did just that.

“You know what, Dray? You’re kind of a throwback player,” Thompson said. “The NBA is very different than it was 20 years ago, 30, 40 years ago where back then, it felt like a nightly thing and it was just so physical. Now in the 2020s, times have changed. We see each other so much. The basketball world is small. I always know your intentions are good. You’re one of the greatest winners in the history of basketball, at every level. So that trumps any statistical output that you could ever have. Whatever triple-double, whatever record, the one that means the most to me is that winning percentage. Playoffs, regular season, one of the greatest winning percentages in NBA history. So when you’re not out there, it’s like a piece of us is gone.

“Me and Steph [Curry] are really nice guys, probably too nice. We could never be ourselves and have the freedom we do on the court without you. So when you’re not out there, it’s like a huge kink in our armor, and I know the other team is very happy you’re not out there. I just know that for a fact. They relax a little bit. They pump their chest up a little more because our muscles are gone, our enforcer, the heartbeat of our team is not out there. So it does hurt, but at the end of the day, we’ve been through so many battles, reached the mountaintop, been down the mountain, had to climb back up, got there again, and now we have another real shot at this and it’s been like a couple tough years. But we’re still fighting. We’re still in the mix.”

Green has a long history of controversy and suspensions throughout his 12-year NBA career, but the notorious behavior was amplified this season.

The four-time NBA champion served a five-game suspension earlier this season after holding Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a headlock for several seconds and dragging him across the court.

He apologized. He returned. And then he did it again.

This time, it was an indefinite suspension for swinging and striking Phoenix Suns big man Jusuf Nurkic in the face. It wound up being 16 games that Green missed with Golden State, and Thompson, Curry and the Warriors felt his absence — perhaps no one more than the Splash Bros.

“It does hurt,” Thompson continued. “It can be disappointing in the moment but it will never take away from what’s ahead of us and from what we’ve done. So at the end of the day, we just need you and that disappointment and that feeling of shaking your head just comes from we can’t do this without you. We love you and we need you so badly.

“And these young guys need you, too, because Steph and I are leaders, but we don’t talk the game like you do. We don’t inspire these young guys like you do and even when [Warriors assistant coach] Kenny [Atkinson] calls on you in film, there’s going to be a void there always if you’re not out there.

“We’re not the Warriors without Money Green, that’s just a fact. You can ask anybody in the Bay or around the world who’s followed this team, we would not be the Dubs without you.”

Green, Thompson and Curry created something special in the Bay that will be hard to replicate. And while the Splash Bros might get the spotlight more often than not for their impressive lights-out shooting, they know they likely wouldn’t have the success they have had without Green.

And holding onto the Western Conference’s No. 10 seed while fighting for their playoff lives, the same rings true for the final games of the season and into the postseason.

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