Steve Kerr Discusses Klay Thompson’s Crucial Career Change and His Steady Post-Injury Comeback

The departure of Klay Thompson from the Golden State Warriors to the Dallas Mavericks is a significant moment in NBA history

While it marks the end of a remarkable chapter with the Warriors, it also opens up new possibilities for Thompson and the Mavericks.

Steve Kerr’s heartfelt comments reflect the deep respect and appreciation for Thompson’s contributions, while also acknowledging the personal challenges he faced.

Thompson’s journey is a testament to his resilience and passion for the game. As he begins this new chapter, fans and analysts alike will be watching closely to see how he adapts and continues to make his mark in the NBA.

Whether he will reach the same heights he once did remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Klay Thompson’s impact on the game of basketball is undeniable and enduring.

Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr (Image: Source)

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Klay Thompson: Departure News

A New Chapter in His Career

The basketball world was taken aback when Klay Thompson, a cornerstone of the Golden State Warriors dynasty, decided to leave the Bay Area.1

After 13 illustrious seasons with the Warriors, Thompson opted for a change of scenery, signing a three-year, $50 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

This move followed a sign-and-trade deal, marking the end of an era for the Warriors and the beginning of a new chapter for Thompson. The transition has sparked numerous discussions, especially with Team USA basketball coach Steve Kerr addressing the situation.

In one of his first statements about Thompson’s departure, Steve Kerr expressed his gratitude and admiration for the iconic shooter. Speaking at a press conference in Las Vegas, Kerr highlighted the deep bond between Thompson and the Warriors organization.

He described their relationship as “meaningful” and “amazing,” underscoring the impact Thompson had on the team and vice versa.

Kerr’s remarks emphasized the emotional aspect of the departure. “We will miss him,” Kerr stated, reflecting the sentiments of many Warriors fans who have watched Thompson’s journey from a promising rookie to a key player in the team’s championship runs.

Reflecting on Klay Thompson’s Golden Years

Kerr further elaborated on Thompson’s significance during an interview on the “Willard & Dibs” show. He reminisced about Thompson’s prime years from 2014 to 2019, before the injuries that altered his career trajectory.

During this period, Thompson was a model of consistency and resilience.

“From 2014-19, pre-injury, Klay was unflappable. He rarely required much maintenance from me as a coach. He was just so happy playing and playing at a high level. I would check in with him and he was always fine and loving life. That changed after the two injuries,” Kerr noted.

This period saw Thompson averaging 19.2 points on 45.7% shooting, including an impressive 42.2% from three-point range.

His contributions extended beyond scoring, as he also averaged 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. These statistics underscore his role as a versatile and reliable player.

Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr (Image: Source)

Steve Kerr’s Tribute to Klay Thompson

The narrative of Klay Thompson’s career took a dramatic turn following two devastating injuries. Despite returning to the court, Thompson faced new challenges that tested his physical and mental fortitude.2

Post-injury, he managed to average 19.9 points on 43.3% shooting, with a 39.7% success rate from beyond the arc, alongside 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

While these numbers are commendable, they do not fully capture the struggles Thompson endured. There were stretches where he seemed like a shadow of his former self, and his performance drew relentless scrutiny from critics. On nights when his shooting faltered, the criticism grew louder, impacting his confidence and composure.

The Need for a Career Change

Steve Kerr’s comments shed light on the emotional and psychological toll these challenges took on Thompson. “We were always in great stead with Klay in terms of our relationship and communicating how we felt about him.

In the end, he really needed this career change and I think it’s going to be good for him,” Kerr explained.

This acknowledgment from Kerr highlights the importance of mental health and well-being for professional athletes. Thompson’s decision to move to the Dallas Mavericks can be seen as a necessary step for his personal and professional growth.

The change of environment may provide him with a fresh perspective and the opportunity to rediscover his passion for the game.

The Legacy of Klay Thompson with the Warriors

Klay Thompson’s legacy with the Golden State Warriors is indelible. He was an integral part of a team that won three NBA championships and made five consecutive NBA Finals appearances.

His performances in critical moments, such as his record-setting 37-point quarter and his pivotal Game 6 performances, have cemented his place in NBA history.

Thompson’s departure marks the end of an era, but his contributions to the Warriors’ success will always be remembered. His work ethic, resilience, and clutch performances have left an enduring legacy that will inspire future generations of Warriors players and fans.

The Future with the Dallas Mavericks

As Klay Thompson embarks on his journey with the Dallas Mavericks, there is a sense of anticipation and optimism. The Mavericks, led by superstar Luka Dončić, are a team with significant potential.

Thompson’s experience and shooting prowess could provide the team with the additional firepower needed to contend in the highly competitive Western Conference.

The new environment in Dallas might offer Thompson a chance to play a different role, possibly taking on more leadership responsibilities and mentoring younger players.

This transition could be beneficial not only for Thompson but also for the Mavericks, who can leverage his championship experience and competitive spirit.

Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr (Image: Source)

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Steve Kerr’s Benching Decision For Klay Thompson

Steve Kerr’s decision to bench Klay Thompson last season was a significant moment for the Golden State Warriors.3

It signaled potential changes and challenges within the team, especially for a player who had been a cornerstone of the Warriors’ success for over a decade.

This article explores the circumstances leading to Thompson’s benching, its aftermath, and the broader implications for the player and the team.

The Game-Changing Moment

In mid-February last season, the Golden State Warriors faced off against the LA Clippers in a closely contested match. With 39.6 seconds left on the clock, the Warriors trailed by three points, 126-123.

Brandin Podziemski’s corner three-pointer brought the Warriors closer, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.

Steve Kerr, the head coach, emphasized the importance of defending without fouling to preserve the remaining time.

However, Klay Thompson disrupted this plan by committing a quick foul on Russell Westbrook immediately after the inbounds pass.

The Immediate Aftermath

The reactions from the Warriors’ bench and Steph Curry were telling. Kerr and the rest of the coaching staff were visibly frustrated, while Curry, though initially shocked, extended a hand to support Thompson.

However, Thompson, clearly upset, refused Curry’s gesture as both teams prepared for Westbrook’s free throws.

This incident highlighted not only a critical lapse in judgment but also the emotional strain within the team.

Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr

The Bench Decision

In the following game against the Utah Jazz, Steve Kerr made a surprising move by benching Klay Thompson in favor of rookie Brandin Podziemski.

This decision ended Thompson’s streak of 699 consecutive games started, a remarkable achievement spanning 10 seasons and five All-Star appearances.

The benching was a clear signal that Kerr was willing to make bold decisions to improve the team’s performance, even if it meant sidelining a veteran star.

The Fallout

The decision to bench Thompson and the failure to secure a significant contract extension fueled speculation about his future with the Warriors.

Thompson’s struggles continued, culminating in a disastrous performance in a win-or-go-home play-in game against the Sacramento Kings.

He failed to score a single point, shooting 0-for-10 from the field and 0-for-6 from three-point range. Despite contributing four rebounds and one assist, it was a dismal end to his season.

Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr: Perspective Explained

After the game, Steve Kerr expressed his desire to retain Thompson despite the disappointing conclusion to the season.

He acknowledged Thompson’s contributions and importance to the team but also recognized the need for adjustments.

Kerr’s comments reflected the complexity of the situation—balancing loyalty to a long-time player with the need to make strategic decisions for the team’s success.

Klay Thompson’s tenure with the Warriors has been marked by remarkable achievements and significant challenges. As a key member of the team’s core, he played an instrumental role in their multiple championship runs.

However, injuries and recent performance struggles have raised questions about his long-term viability as a top-tier player. The decision to bench him, coupled with contract uncertainties, has cast a shadow over his future with the Warriors.

Brandin Podziemski’s Rise

The benching of Klay Thompson also highlighted the emergence of rookie Brandin Podziemski. By starting in place of Thompson, Podziemski demonstrated his potential and earned the trust of the coaching staff.

His performance in crucial moments showcased his readiness to contribute at a high level, signaling a potential shift in the team’s dynamics and future rotations.


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The Contract Extension Saga

The failure to reach a contract extension agreement between the Warriors and Klay Thompson was another significant development. Negotiations stalled, leading to uncertainty about Thompson’s future with the team.

This situation underscored the business side of professional sports, where even long-time partnerships can be tested by financial considerations and performance metrics.

The Warriors face critical decisions as they plan for the future. Balancing the contributions of veteran players like Thompson with the development of younger talent like Podziemski will be crucial.

Steve Kerr’s willingness to make tough decisions, such as benching Thompson, indicates a pragmatic approach focused on maintaining the team’s competitive edge.

Fan Reactions and Media Coverage

  • The benching of Klay Thompson and the subsequent events drew significant attention from fans and media alike.
  • Reactions ranged from support for Kerr’s decision to criticism and concern for Thompson’s future. Media coverage delved into the potential implications for the team’s chemistry and performance, reflecting the high stakes and passionate following of the Warriors’ fan base.
  • Klay Thompson’s response to being benched and his struggles in the play-in game were closely watched. His refusal to accept Curry’s hand after the Clippers game indicated frustration, but his overall demeanor remained professional.
  • Thompson’s future actions and performance will be crucial in determining his trajectory with the Warriors and his legacy in the NBA.
  • The incident involving Thompson highlighted the importance of team dynamics and communication. Steve Kerr’s decision, while controversial, was likely driven by a broader strategy to enhance team performance.
  • The support and interactions among players, such as Curry’s gesture, underscored the complex relationships that underpin a successful team.

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Kankana Biswas
Kankana Biswas

I'm a strategic journalism graduate with expertise on socio-political issues, business, and finance. I'm a self-made entrepreneur, and have contributed to various news/media outlets since 2015. I also received degree of journalism from the Delhi College of Arts and Commerce.

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