‣ Klay Thompson, a veteran star of the Golden State Warriors, has been struggling to play his best basketball in the 2023/24 NBA season, which was evident during a match against Phoenix where he was benched by coach Steve Kerr.
‣ Thompson’s performance has been poor, scoring only seven points while shooting 2-of-10 from the field and only one of 8 from beyond the arc during the Phoenix game. His coach was not willing to wait for him to pick up his game.
‣ Thompson reportedly turned down a contract extension offered by Golden State this offseason, despite being in the final year of his contract. This has led to speculation about his future with the team.
"The seal has been broken. Steve Kerr has now made it possible that he can bench Klay Thompson in crunch time, which you didn't know how he was going handle it. He was not pleased last night."@anthonyVslater on Klay getting benched last night
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame)
Klay Thompson’s performance in the 2023/24 NBA season has been less than stellar. This was evident during Golden State’s 116-119 loss to Phoenix on Tuesday. A major talking point from the game was coach Steve Kerr’s decision to bench his shooting guard with only six minutes left.
Thompson had only managed to score seven points up to that point. His shooting stats were disappointing too, with 2-of-10 from the field and just one of 8 from beyond the arc. After the game, his trainer revealed he wasn’t willing to wait for Klay to improve.
Steve Kerr expressed his thoughts after the defeat. He said, “I just felt like tonight I had to play the guys who were playing the best.” Kerr has been patient, trying to get everyone organized and giving players freedom. But that night, he felt the need for urgency, leading to his decisions.
A tweet from 95.7 The Game quoted Anthony Slater, saying, “The seal has been broken. Steve Kerr can now bench Klay Thompson in crunch time, which you didn’t know how he was going to handle it. He was not pleased last night.”
Kerr also benched Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Loney after halftime, as they weren’t performing well. However, it was Thompson’s move to the sidelines that really grabbed the headlines.
Kerr understands Thompson’s frustration. He said, “I’m sure he’s disappointed. It’s not easy being in that situation, and same with Loon and Wiggs, but these are tough nights. This is the NBA. It’s a dream job for these guys, but it’s also incredibly difficult. You get booed, benched, injured, traded, cut; it’s not easy.”
Thompson isn’t used to being benched for poor performance. He admitted he hasn’t been playing well and said it felt “strange,” but he “deserved” it because he’s been “playing like crap.”
Thompson expressed his frustration, saying, “You think I’m gonna just chill? I’m freaking competitive man. At the end of the day, I’m one of the most competitive people to put this uniform on. I can say that with confidence too. But whatever. I guess I didn’t bring it tonight. I deserved it.”
Recently, reports surfaced that Thompson turned down a contract extension this summer. Insider Shams Charania reported that Golden State offered Klay a contract extension this offseason. However, he declined it, even though he’s in the final year of his contract in San Francisco.
Charania said on the show Run It Back, “[Klay’s] future has been in question. I’m told that the Warriors offered a deal, 2 years in the range of $48 million in an extension to Klay Thompson before the season, and now there’s no deal.”
Thompson has been key to his franchise’s success in the last decade, winning four championship titles alongside Stephen Curry. Curry had to calm down his teammate as he was steaming from the bench on Tuesday.
ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported, “As Thompson made his way around the bench during the subsequent timeout, when he was subbed out of the game, he was yelling and continuously pacing, throwing towels on the ground and needing Curry to talk him down.”