Klay: Trip to Fraser's Mexico home in 2020 'changed my life' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The waters of the San Francisco Bay. His loyal bulldog, Rocco. A basketball in his hands.
But it wasn’t until the summer of 2020, during a trip to assistant coach Bruce Fraser’s secluded home in Mexico, that Thompson realized how satisfied he can feel by enjoying the simple things in life.
“That trip changed my life,” Thompson recalled to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “It showed me how little I actually need to be happy.”
At that point, Thompson already had been through the greatest setback of his life when he tore his left ACL during the 2019 NBA Finals.
Little did he know, that newfound outlook on life would become all the more important just a few months later when he tore his right Achilles tendon before he could return for the 2020-21 NBA season.
Thompson made his comeback from both injuries in January 2022, then went on to help the Warriors win their fourth NBA championship in eight seasons.
For Fraser, who shares a close bond with Thompson, the sharpshooter’s journey -- and outlook on life -- is one the Golden State assistant would like to read about one day.
“If I was to choose my favorite book, it would be a book written by Klay Thompson when he’s 60,” Fraser told Shelburne. “Because that’s when you’ll get everything that’s in his soul articulated.
“He’s still learning how to articulate, and also deciding what to articulate. He’s not puzzling, but he’s a little like a puzzle in that he’ll give you pieces that, over time, if you’re listening, you can put him together.”
Thompson’s life-changing trip to Fraser’s home, which Shelburne wrote lies on a “desolate stretch of sand on the East Cape of the Baja peninsula” known mainly to surfers, provided the Splash Brother with two of his favorite things: an off-grid excursion and water.
The pair mostly went swimming and surfed that day, Shelburne noted, and Fraser recalled that all Thompson brought with him to Mexico was a pair of surf trunks and a basketball.
“I’m like, ‘You know we don’t have a court there,’ ” Fraser said.
That didn’t stop Thompson, who brought his ball anyway.
And as Fraser met with the other Warriors coaches on Zoom, he told Shelburne he looked out the window to see Thompson shooting ghost jumpers against the wall.
Thompson wouldn’t shoot a jumper in a real game for almost another two years.
But he found happiness during that time, and that certainly helped him persevere.