This is the first time Klay Thompson has played the villain role since becoming a pro, but sometimes all it takes is a little honesty about Blake Griffin’s style of play to go from sidekick to heel in L.A.
“He is a good guy off the court but he probably just … I mean … plays pretty physical and flops a little bit,” Thompson told The Wheelhouse on 95.7 The Game radio in San Francisco.
“He flairs his arm around so you know you might catch a random elbow or something that doesn’t you know rub off too well on guys,” Thompson said. “He’s kind of like a bull in a china shop, kind of out of control sometimes. And then you do just see him flop sometimes like how can a guy that big and strong flop that much.
“I can see how that gets under people’s skin and be frustrating to play against.”
Thompson didn’t say anything that hasn’t been said before, but that doesn’t matter to Clippers fans. One of them was shown taking off his red shirt on the Staples Center scoreboard during a timeout, revealing a white shirt that said, “SHUT UP KLAY” in black lettering. The fan then put his index finger to his lips and said, “Shhhh.”
I asked Thompson a few questions after the Golden State Warriors won Game 1, 109-105. But I had to start by asking about that homemade t-shirt.
“I saw it,” Thompson said. “That’s alright, that’s basketball. That makes it more fun. We’re in the opposing team’s building, so you’ve got to expect stuff like that, hearing all the expletives and whatnot.”
Thompson had the final word, as he had a team-leading 22 points, several threes at key moments, seven rebounds and five assists. He found the ball in his hands as the final buzzer sounded, and he spiked it on the hardwood. It was a rare display of emotion from Thompson, one he wishes he could bottle up and savor.
“The best feeling. I wish I could go back out there and do it again. After a hard fought win like that, I wish I could’ve kicked the ball, just to get my emotions out. It felt great.”