Klay Thompson on Coming Off the Bench: “I Thought About Manu Ginobili”

NBA: Playoffs-Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors

Klay Thompson came off the bench for the first time since his rookie season in Golden State’s recent matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers. This came as a surprise to many. However, the Golden State Warriors have been searching for answers this year and that has meant toying with different rotations. To Thompson’s credit, he did not scoff at the idea of coming off the bench.

“I thought about Manu Ginobili,” Thompson said. “That guy has four rings and a gold medal, and he came off the bench his whole career. And I don’t think anyone looks down on his Hall of Fame candidacy because he’s one of the greats.
“I embraced it before tip.”

The four-time champion did admit it was a bit of an adjustment, though it did give him a different mindset.

“Coming off the bench gave me fresh legs, especially on a back-to-back, that was nice to come in with a fresh, clean slate,” Thompson said.

Head coach, Steve Kerr, also remarked on the lineup change and hinted that the change is not a permanent solution.

“It doesn’t mean it’s permanent,” Kerr said. “But I like that lineup with BP and the other four. And Klay coming off the bench gives us a lot of firepower. We’ll give it a little look and we’ll see how it goes from there.”

Time will tell if Klay Thompson eventually becomes a permanent sixth man.

Klay Thompson Uses Manu Ginobili as Motivation for Sixth Man Role

Klay Thompson’s Season

Thompson has not had the greatest year by his standards. This potential new role could rejuvenate him. On the season, the second Splash Brother is averaging 17.3 points, 3.5 total rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game while only shooting 42.1 percent from the field. However, a new role could be good for him. As Klay Thompson alluded to, we have seen it with Manu Ginobili, there’s no reason to think that Thompson does not have the same capability. However, Manu Ginobili’s shoes are big ones to fill if that is who Thompson is striving to be like as a sixth man.

Manu Ginobili’s Career

Ginobili was an integral part of the San Antonio Spurs’ championship teams. Not only did he help make up a big three with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, he also was a former Sixth Man of the Year winner. He tallied 13.3 points, 3.5 total rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 36.9 percent from three-point territory. Ginobili was also considered one of the craftiest players of his time and carved out a terrific Hall of Fame career for himself. If Klay Thompson is striving to be the next Ginobili, then the Warriors could once again find themselves among the elite echelon of the NBA.

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