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Klay open to reduced role to stay with Warriors for entire NBA career

Klay open to reduced role to stay with Warriors for entire NBA career originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Klay Thompson's Warriors future continues to be clouded by uncertainty, but the sharpshooter might have provided some clarity on his side.

The Warriors veteran guard told The Ringer's Logan Murdock that he would be open to a reduced role with Golden State if it means he gets to stay in the Bay and play for the only team he has ever been a part of.

“Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with that,” Thompson told Murdock. “I’ll be 35 next year. At 35, coming off the ACL and an Achilles [tear] and still have the ability to be a really good player. Maybe not the guy who scored 60 in three quarters and scored an NBA record 37 points in a quarter, but still a great threat out there.

"I’ve modeled my game after Reggie [Miller] and Ray [Allen], and those guys were incredibly effective until their late 30s. So I plan on kind of following that mold.”

Thompson is in the midst of a contract year as he and the organization have yet to agree on a deal beyond the 2023-24 season.

The four-time NBA champion has spent his entire NBA career with the Warriors, and in Year 13, he's soaking in every single moment.

Playing alongside Steph Curry and Draymond Green for more than a decade and creating something special that forever will be engraved in franchise history, Thompson can't picture ending his career anywhere else -- with anyone else.

“I mean, just for where we started,” Thompson told Murdock. “The Warriors before we got there had a good history as far as Wilt and Rick Barry and TMC and We Believe. I think we elevated that to another level. I just think it’s a special, special group, and then when we win and go to so many championships together, … it’s like a bond for life.

"It’s probably the best part of the job, honestly. Trumps the money, trumps the fame, just being able to have a bond for life with those guys.”

Thompson's lights-out shooting and effective two-way play helped the Warriors make five consecutive NBA Finals appearances and win three titles before winning a fourth three seasons later. Two serious back-to-back injuries hindered Thompson's prime, but he has been fighting ever since then to return to the player he once was.

But his competitiveness and stubbornness recently have been met with a calm, accepting realization that has allowed Thompson to enjoy the ride and not put so much pressure on himself.

“I put in so much work to get back to even just playing basketball that I just needed a little perspective shift and rather than trying to be the old me or be an All-Star in the NBA or whatever,” he told Murdock. “Just to be as effective as I can in my current role and, most importantly, just have fun, man, because at the end of the day, I only have so many years more doing this and got to have fun.

"I can’t be stressed because things don’t go my way. I just got to continue to have fun. I thought I did a good job of that tonight.”

After struggling to start the season, Thompson has shown flashes of resurgence in recent games. In 47 games this season, he is averaging 16.9 points on 41.3 percent shooting from the field and 37.3 percent from 3-point range, with 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

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