The Golden State Warriors picked up an important win over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night, 109–98, opting to roll with some younger faces instead of veteran sharpshooter Klay Thompson in order to secure their lead at the end of the game.
Prior to reporters even asking Thompson about being on the bench late into the win, Draymond Green chimed in from his locker.
“What they talking about, you ain’t finish the game? I got benched Game 5 of the finals, who the f– cares?” said Green, via Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
Thompson, who reporters then broached about not closing out games, admitted that the role change has been a difficult adjustment, but he expressed pride in the Warriors’ younger players for stepping up and earning those late minutes.
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
“Yeah, you kidding me?” said Thompson when asked if being on the bench late in the fourth quarter was an adjustment curve.
“To go from one of the best players… It’s hard for anybody, I’ll be honest with you. It’s really hard.”
Thompson added that he’s accepted that he won’t always be closing out games for Golden State amid his ongoing shooting slump. A career 41.3% shooter from three-point range, Thompson is shooting just 37.4% from deep in 2023-24, the worst of his career.
He shot 4-of-9 from the field and 0-for-3 from three-point range in the loss. It was the first game this season in which Thompson didn’t make a three, apart from when he was ejected after one minute against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Gui Santos logged a career-high 18 minutes in the win, seeing the floor for the Warriors down the stretch as Thompson rode the bench. It was just his ninth NBA appearance following a call-up from the G-League, and Thompson had nothing but praise for the 21-year-old.
“He played so hard. I’m happy for Gui. Incredible. He’s in the G-League, to come up and make an impact like that? Incredible,” said Thompson.