The Golden State Warriors will have the chance to fly under the radar for the first time since 2014, a five-year window that has since made them into the hunted instead of the hunters. Klay Thompson, who is bound to sit out for at least half of the season, is looking forward to being the underdog for the first time in a very long stretch.
“It’s going to be fun, and I love the dudes we got,” Thompson told Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “We’ve got a young team. I’m excited for D’Angelo (Russell), for him to come to a winner. I’m excited for Willie Cauley-Stein, who is super talented and I know he’s hungry. I’m excited for Loon (Kevon Looney). He’s coming into his own. I’m seeing him in Japan running camps and stuff and that man might’ve spoken 30 words in the last four years. To see him leading drills and teaching and coming into his own, I can see the confidence he has.
“I’m just excited, man. Obviously, we know Steph and Dray and me. Jordan (Poole) is talented. I watched him in Summer League. He’s got skills. It will be fun.”
While many NBA teams have kept a keen eye on the Warriors' new-look roster, some pundits have left them out of the playoff conversation altogether, claiming their dynasty is over. Thompson has seen these takes time and time again, but he's taking the over route, claiming the Warriors still have plenty of fuel in the tank.
“That’s fine. That’s sports,” said Thompson of people who are writing the Warriors off. “I don’t just think we’re going to be nice this year. I think we’ve got a five-year window. We’re still so young, man. People get lost thinking, “Oh, they’re 30 now.” I feel younger than ever.”
The sharpshooter is expected to be out until sometime around the All-Star break after suffering a torn ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. His ultimate recovery and integration into the starting lineup could prove the ultimate key on the Warriors' playoff chances and ultimate success through the season.