“Klay Thompson Opens Up About Recent Time on the Bench in Warriors’ Victory: ‘It’s a Real Challenge'”

New York Star player Klay Thompson was benched in the final seconds of the Golden State Warriors‘ thrilling 109-98 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. This was Thompson’s second consecutive game without a point. From the sidelines, the future Hall of Famer reflected on these pivotal moments and said, “It was really tough.”

Thompson gave the sideline reporters a preview of a few significant events from the field.

Thompson responded, “Yeah,” when questioned about his modified role. “Are you serious? Come on, you realize that even for the finest players, it might be difficult. It’s difficult.

“I’ll tell you the truth. It’s really difficult.”

With 7:19 remaining in the game, Thompson, who had played the entire time on the court, finished with 9 points on 4 of 9 shooting, including 3 three-pointers. Thompson was replaced by guard Moses Moody. After Thompson had played 61 minutes in the eight NBA games prior to Monday night, head coach Steve Kerr decided to start Gui Santos in Thompson’s place.

The Warriors bounced back after a week of defeats with a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. However, before Thompson could join the team in celebrating, Andrew Wiggins sustained a knee injury late in the first half and did not play again.

Wiggins was forced to miss Monday’s game due to a knee ailment. To secure the victory for the Warriors over the Brooklyn Nets, Kevon Looney, Jonathan Kuminga, and Branden Podzimski joined Stephen Curry in place of Thompson. With 29 points, Curry led the club, while Draymond Green chipped in as well.

Although it has been a difficult season for Thompson, Kerr acknowledged that they stayed with this squad because “there was a competition and drama going on, and there was pace in them.”

“He’s fine,” Kerr reported. For him, this has been an ups and downs season. It’s never easy to cope with injuries for a person who is a Hall of Fame player, and getting older is never easy for any player. He is, nevertheless, mentally tough.”

Thompson, who turned 34 on Thursday, missed the whole 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons after tearing his Achilles and ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.

Thompson returned to help the Warriors win the NBA title in 2022. He started the previous season averaging 20.4 points per game, but in the end, the Warriors lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the playoffs. Thompson improved to an average of 21.9 points with a 41% field goal percentage and a 37.1% three-point range.

Thompson’s stats have decreased, though, as he averages 17.1 points per game this season, the lowest since his second NBA campaign, and shoots a career-worst 41.5% from the field and 37.1% from three points. Thompson’s role has been a recurring plot point thanks to the contributions of young players like Podzimski, Kuminga, and Moody.

Following the game, Thompson remarked, “Physically, I feel great.” Maybe a slightly different story mentally. But isn’t that how life goes?

Green then introduced a bug into Thompson’s interview, claiming, “So who cares?” that he had been benched for one NBA Finals game.

To his credit, Thompson frequently conveyed his joy for his younger colleagues, complimenting Podzimski and Kuminga (28 points) and acknowledging Santos for his contribution to the game.

Thompson remarked, “I’ve accepted it.” “I may be insane, but I genuinely feel delighted for these young guys. Yes, victory was achieved. And it’s difficult to win in this league.

“[Santos] gave a bad performance. I’m glad for Gui. Come on, who in the G League is going to show up here and have that kind of an impact? Amazing.”

The 21-year-old wonder from Brazil, Santos, was selected with the 55th overall choice in the 2022 NBA Draft. He has played in more minutes in the Warriors’ final three games (44) than their first thirty-five (35) games of the season. His incredible effort in the Monday night victory over the Nets was hailed by Kerr and Thompson.

“Everyone always says, ‘Be ready when your number is called,'” Thompson admitted. I thus remarked, “I need to contribute energy to the team, especially defensively,” as I realized I just had two minutes remaining on the court.”

Following the victory, the warriors’ record was 22-25, but Monday night was the most recent odd turn in their story. The five-game East Coast swing will come to an end on Wednesday and Thursday against Philadelphia and Indiana before returning to the trade deadline on a potential trade deadline line.

While the Warriors must navigate their way up the Western standings officially, they also have to navigate the reality of Thompson’s fluid place on the team as they head into the final third of the season.

“I know he wants to hit the ball in a better way,” Curry stated. “I am aware that he wishes to return from there. He is victorious. He is a man who has contributed more than anyone to all of our accomplishments. In our careers, it can be difficult to keep trying to perform at the top.

Conclusion:

“There are ups and downs in the way this game operates. During the season, there are moments when you excel and there are breaks. You must be silent and prepared. I haven’t discussed it with him directly. However, it’s important to maintain your composure, be organized, and play for thirty minutes. Additionally, you’ve given us a lot of early drama. Thus, remember that everything comes back, so just hold on.

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