Klay shares honest reaction to being benched in Warriors' win vs. Nets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
The Warriors' locker room Monday night was filled with high vibrations after pulling out a 109-98 win over the Brooklyn Nets thanks to an impressive showing from their youth.
And then there was Klay Thompson. Standing in front of his Barclays Center locker, not even a mask could hide the emotion on the Warriors guard's face while he openly and honestly spoke to reporters.
"I feel great physically," he said (h/t The Athletic's Anthony Slater). "Mentally, probably a little different story."
Thompson wears his heart on his sleeve, which is one of the reasons why Dub Nation has fallen in love with him over the last decade.
But even the worst of his emotions have been on full display as frustrations grow deeper during the four-time NBA champion's tough season.
After Monday's win, cameras caught Thompson visibly upset on the sideline before being pushed back by a Warriors coach. This came after being benched at the end of the fourth quarter. After being pulled at the 7:19 mark of the final frame, Thompson's minutes were distributed among Gui Santos, Moses Moody and Lester Quiñones.
Thompson finished with eight points on 4-of-9 shooting, including 0-3 from distance. He played 19 minutes in the first half and 11 in the second.
"Shooting, yeah. I pride myself in that stuff," Thompson said.
Before he could continue, he was interrupted by Green, who weighed in on Thompson not closing out the game.
"What they talking about?" Green shouted. "You didn't play to finish the game? I got benched Game 5 of the Finals. Who the f--k cares?"
Klay Thompson said it’s hard to not close: “Yeah, you kidding me? To go from one of the best players…It’s hard for anybody.”
Klay credited the young guys.
Draymond from off camera (to reporters): “I didn’t close Game 5 of the Finals. Who the f*** cares?” pic.twitter.com/CzYNX4vulw
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 6, 2024
Well, Thompson. Thompson cares.
But despite his emotional state Monday night, he gave credit to the young guys for stepping up and helping the team secure the win on the road.
"It's all good. These guys played great," he said. "Gui played great. BP. Jonathan. At the end of the day, winning trumps all."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr -- 47 games into the season -- still is experimenting with different lineups and rotations. For Thompson, in his 12th NBA season, the competitor in him wants to play as much as he possibly can, and he acknowledged the challenge it's been to be pulled from big games.
"Yeah, are you kidding me? To go from one of the best players … it's hard for anybody," Thompson said. "I'll be honest with you. ... I've accepted it. You can be mad. I might be mad, but I'm happy for these young guys honestly. And yeah, we won. It's hard to get wins in this league."
Thompson is averaging 17.1 points but shooting career lows this season. He's earned the respect and patience of Dub Nation and the Warriors organization, but with the team sitting in 12th place in the Western Conference with a 22-25 record, the clock is ticking and the patience meter might be running low soon.