Klay Alexander Thompson (born February 8, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The son of former NBA player Mychal Thompson, he played college basketball for three seasons at Washington State University, where he was a two-time first-team all-conference selection in the Pac-10.
Thompson with the Warriors in 2016
|No. 11 – Golden State Warriors|
February 8, 1990 |
Los Angeles, California
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||215 lb (98 kg)|
|High school||Santa Margarita Catholic
(Rancho Santa Margarita, California)
|College||Washington State (2008–2011)|
|NBA draft||2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11th overall|
|Selected by the Golden State Warriors|
|2011–present||Golden State Warriors|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Thompson was selected in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft by Golden State with the 11th overall pick. In 2014, he and teammate Stephen Curry set a then NBA record with 484 combined three-pointers in a season, earning the pair the nickname the "Splash Brothers". Thompson is a four-time NBA All-Star and a two-time All-NBA Third Team honoree. In 2015, he helped lead the Warriors to their first NBA Championship since 1975. Thompson was a key contributor in the Warriors' 2017 and 2018 titles.
High school career
Thompson was born in Los Angeles to Julie and Mychal Thompson. His mother was a volleyball player in college, and his dad was the first overall pick of the 1978 NBA draft. When Thompson was two, he and his family moved to Lake Oswego, Oregon, where he was childhood friends and Little League teammates with fellow future NBA star Kevin Love. At age 14, the Thompsons moved to Ladera Ranch, California, where Klay graduated from Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita in 2008. In his junior season he was named to the All-Area second team and to the Orange County third team. As a senior Thompson averaged 21 points per game and led SMCHS to a 30–5 record and a Division III State Championship appearance. During the state championship, Thompson set a state finals record with seven 3-pointers in a game. He was named Division III State player of the year, League MVP, first-team Best in the West, and an EA Sports Second Team All American.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Rancho Santa Margarita, California||Santa Margarita Catholic High||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||Oct 2, 2007|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN grade: 95|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 45 Rivals: 6 (SG); 51 (national)|
Thompson started all 33 games as a freshman at Washington State University, leading his team in 3-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage, and averaging 12.5 points per game. He was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team and Collegehoops.net All-Freshman Honorable Mention Team.
Thompson began his sophomore season by leading the Cougars to the Great Alaska Shootout Championship, being named its Most Outstanding Player after scoring a tournament single game record of 43 points in its championship. This was also the third highest single game point total in WSU history. After becoming the third fastest Cougar to reach 1,000 points, Thompson was named to the All-Pac-10 First Team. He earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors twice during the season and was chosen as a midseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award. Thompson finished the season averaging 19.6 points, good for second in the conference.
Thompson led the Pac-10 in scoring as a junior, again earning All-Pac-10 first team honors. He became just the third Cougar to win first-team all-district honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches twice in his career. In addition, he became the first Cougar to be named Pac-10 Player of the Week three times when he won the award for the week of Nov. 22–28, extending the record to four after the week of December 6–12. Soon after, Thompson was named one of the 30 midseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. In the 2011 Pac-10 tournament, he set tournament records with 43 points and 8 three pointers. Thompson finished the season by setting WSU's single season scoring record with 733 points. He is WSU's 3rd all-time leading scorer.
Golden State Warriors (2011–present)
Thompson declared for the 2011 NBA draft after his junior season, being selected 11th overall by the Golden State Warriors. This pick of a guard prompted speculation that the Warriors would trade starter Monta Ellis. Warriors general manager Larry Riley praised Thompson for his shooting ability and expressed confidence that Thompson would improve his defensive skills with new coach Mark Jackson.
The NBA did not select Thompson for the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend Rising Stars Challenge. However, in the four games after that decision, Thompson improved in all areas of basketball over his current season averages: points per game (12.5 over 7.6), shooting percentage (54.3% overall including 55.6% for three-pointers, up from 46.7 and 48.1), rebounds (2.8 from 1.6), assists (1.5 from 1.3), steals, and turnovers. The Warriors traded Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks on March 13, 2012. The following game, Thompson scored a season-high 26 points in a loss to the Boston Celtics. A week later, he exceeded his previous high with 27 points in a win over the New Orleans Hornets. As of mid-February 2012, Thompson played around 17 minutes per game, but he played an average 30 minutes per game during the next month. At the end of the season, Thompson was voted to the NBA NBA All-Rookie First Team.
On January 29, 2013, Thompson scored a season-high 32 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Warriors coach Mark Jackson said that Thompson and Stephen Curry formed the best shooting duo in NBA history. That season, the two combined made 483 three-pointers, the most ever by an NBA duo.[a] The Warriors defeated the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs and would be matched up against the San Antonio Spurs. On May 8, 2013, Thompson recorded a playoff career-high 34 points against San Antonio, hitting 8 out of 9 three point attempts, along with a career-high 14 rebounds. Thompson and the Warriors would go on to lose to the Spurs in six games.
In the opening game for the Warriors, Thompson scored a season-high 38 points, including 5-of-7 three-pointers. He and Curry set an NBA record for 484 combined threes on the season, besting by one the record they set the previous year. Thompson averaged 18.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists on the year. Thompson and the Warriors entered the 2014 NBA playoffs as the sixth seed in the Western Conference and were matched up with the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round; they lost the series in seven games.
2014–15 season: First All-Star selection and NBA Championship
On October 31, 2014, Thompson signed a four-year contract extension with the Warriors. The next day, he scored a then career-high 41 points in the Warriors' 127-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. On January 23, 2015, Thompson scored a career-high 52 points, with 11 three-pointers, in a 126–101 win over the Sacramento Kings. In the third quarter of that game, he scored an NBA-record 37 points for a single quarter, going 13-for-13 from the field, including nine three-pointers (also a league record for a single quarter). The 13 field goals tied David Thompson's (no relation) record for a quarter.[b] On January 29, 2015, Thompson was named a reserve for the 2015 Western Conference All-Star team for the first time in his career.
On March 8, 2015, Thompson hit 3 three-pointers against the Los Angeles Clippers to pass head coach Steve Kerr (726) on the NBA's all-time list. On March 17, he was ruled out for 7–10 days with a sprained ankle. That season, Stephen Curry broke his own record for three-pointers (286), and Thompson again finished second in the league (239) as the two combined to make 525 threes, surpassing their previous record by 41. On June 7, in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Thompson scored a playoff career-high 34 points in a losing effort to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors went on to defeat the Cavaliers in six games to win the NBA championship and end the franchise's 40-year championship drought.
Thompson began the season averaging 17.2 points per game over his first 21 games, but failed to record a 30-point game over that stretch. That streak ended on December 8, as he scored a then season-high 39 points on 13-of-21 shooting in a 131–123 win over the Indiana Pacers, helping the Warriors extend their unbeaten record to start the season to 23–0. The Warriors' NBA-record start ended after 24 wins when they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 108–95 on December 12. In the Warriors' next game, on December 16, Thompson scored 27 of his then season-high 43 points in the third quarter of their 128–103 win over the Phoenix Suns. On January 8, he recorded his third consecutive game with 30 or more points, finishing with 36 points in a 128–108 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. On January 27, he scored a season-high 45 points on 14-of-20 shooting in a 127–107 win over the Dallas Mavericks. The following night, he was named a Western Conference All-Star reserve for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, earning his second straight All-Star nod. On February 13, he competed in the All-Star Weekend's Three-Point Contest and won the event after defeating Stephen Curry and Devin Booker in the final round. On March 25, he scored 40 points against the Dallas Mavericks. Two days later, he had another 40-point game against the Philadelphia 76ers, scoring 40 points in consecutive games for the first time in his career. On April 7, Thompson scored 14 points against the San Antonio Spurs, helping the Warriors become the second team in NBA history to win 70 games in a season.
As the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the Warriors faced the eighth-seeded Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. In Game 5 of the series, Thompson became the first player in NBA history to make at least seven three-pointers in consecutive playoff games, as he helped the Warriors advance through to the second round with a 4–1 victory, stepping up with Stephen Curry out injured. The Warriors went on to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 4–1 in the second round, moving on to the Western Conference Finals where they faced the Oklahoma City Thunder. After going down 3 games to 1 following a Game 4 loss, Thompson helped the Warriors rally in Games 5 and 6 to even the series at 3–3. In Game 6, Thompson made a playoff-record 11 three-pointers and scored 41 points, as the Warriors forced a Game 7 with a 108–101 victory. With a Game 7 victory, the Warriors became the 10th team to rally from a 3–1 deficit and win a postseason series. The Warriors went on to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals in seven games, despite being up 3–1 in the series.
2016–17 season: Second NBA Championship
On November 13, 2016, Thompson scored a then season-high 30 points in a 133–120 win over the Phoenix Suns, helping the Warriors start the season 8–2. He shot 11-of-18 with five three-pointers and scored 14 of his points in the fourth quarter. On December 5, 2016, he scored 60 points (shooting 21-of-33 and 8-of-14 on three-pointers) in 29 minutes over just three quarters in a 142–106 win over the Indiana Pacers, becoming the first player in NBA history to score 60 points in less than 30 minutes of action. Thompson had an NBA season-high and career-best performance for the highest-scoring output by a Golden State player in more than 42 years. His 40 first-half points tied him for second-most scored in a half over the past decade. In addition, Thompson became the first Warrior to score 60 points since Hall of Famer Rick Barry's 64 on March 26, 1974, joining Naismith honorees Wilt Chamberlain and Joe Fulks as the only Golden State players to do so. On January 26, he was named a Western Conference All-Star reserve for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. He participated in the JBL Three Point Contest, but he failed to defend his title as he was eliminated in the first round where scored just 18 points. On April 4, 2017, he scored 41 points (his 10th career 40-point game) in a 121–107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Warriors finished the season as the first seed in the West with a 67–15 record.
Thompson struggled with his shooting for extended stretches during the playoffs, but his defense against opposing guards like Damian Lillard, Patty Mills, and Kyrie Irving stood out. Following a 129–115 victory in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals over the San Antonio Spurs, the Warriors reached their third straight NBA Finals series, becoming the first team in league history to start the playoffs 12–0. Thompson helped the Warriors win their second championship in three years with a 4–1 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals. The Warriors finished the playoffs with a 16–1 record, attaining the best postseason winning percentage in NBA history.
2017–18 season: Third NBA Championship
On October 29, 2017, Thompson scored 29 points in a 115–107 loss to the Detroit Pistons, becoming the 11th player in franchise history to eclipse 9,000 career points. On December 20, 2017, he scored 27 of his 29 points in the first half and made his first nine field goals in a 97–84 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. On December 27, 2017, in a 126–101 win over the Utah Jazz, Thompson hit three 3-pointers, moving him into a tie for third with Dana Barros at 89 consecutive games with a 3-pointer. On January 17, 2018, he scored 38 points in a 119–112 win over the Chicago Bulls. In a 134–127 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on February 22, 2018, Thompson moved past Joe Barry Carroll's 9,996 points to earn 10th place on the franchise's career scoring list, also becoming the 10th Warrior to reach 10,000 regular season career points. Two days later, in a 112–80 win over the Thunder, Thompson passed Neil Johnston (10,023) for ninth place on the franchise's career scoring list. On March 31, 2018, following an eight-game absence with a broken right thumb, Thompson scored 25 points on 10-for-19 shooting in a 112–96 win over the Sacramento Kings. On April 5, 2018, in a 126–106 loss to the Indiana Pacers, Thompson was 4 of 9 on 3-pointers to move past Tim Hardaway (1,542) for 25th on the league's career list. Three days later, he scored 22 of his 34 points in the first quarter of the Warriors' 117–100 win over the Phoenix Suns. Thompson helped the Warriors defeat the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs in five games, as he scored 24 points in a 99–91 win in Game 5. As a result, Thompson joined Rick Barry (699) and Curry (652) as Warriors players with 600 postseason field goals. In Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets, Thompson moved past Barry (1,776) for second place on the Warriors' career postseason scoring list. In Game 6, Thompson knocked down nine 3-pointers on his way to 35 points, as the Warriors rallied from an early 17-point deficit to stave off elimination with a 115–86 victory over the Rockets. In Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Thompson played in his franchise-record 100th postseason game. He also became the sixth player to ever make 300 3s in the postseason, joining Curry as Warriors to reach the feat. He scored 20 points in the game to help the Warriors take a 2–0 lead with a 122–103 win over the Cavaliers. The Warriors went on to sweep the series to claim back-to-back titles.
National team career
Thompson was a member of the United States national team that won the gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics. He also won gold as a member of the Under-19 national team at the 2009 FIBA Under-19 World Championship.
Thompson is both a prolific and efficient shooter, particularly from range, as well as an elite free-throw shooter. He relies upon a shooting form that has been described as "textbook" and "picture-perfect". Though he is capable of handling the ball in the Warriors offense, Thompson is primarily a catch-and-shoot player, taking advantage of back-cuts and screens set by teammates to make space for his exceptionally accurate quick-release shot.
Although Thompson isn't known for blocking shots or creating steals, he is considered a strong defender thanks to his size at the guard position and ability to defend against both elite guards and wings. He is also praised for his stamina.
Thompson is also known for his quiet, laid-back personality, rarely showing emotion in or out of games. He is one of the few players in the NBA sponsored by Chinese shoe company Anta, signing a 10-year deal with it in 2016.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes season in which Thompson won an NBA Championship|
NBA career highlights
- 3× NBA champion: 2015, 2017, 2018
- 4× NBA All-Star: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
- 2× All-NBA Third Team: 2015, 2016
- NBA Three-Point Contest champion: 2016
- NBA All-Rookie First Team: 2012
- NBA regular season record for most points scored in a quarter (37)
- NBA record for most three-pointers made in a single playoffs (98 tied with Stephen Curry)
- NBA playoff record for most three-pointers made in a game (11)
Thompson, was born in Los Angeles, California, to former NBA player Mychal Thompson, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers and currently works in sports radio. Klay's mother is Julie Leslie, a college volleyball player with the University of Portland and University of San Francisco.
His older brother, Mychel, played basketball for Pepperdine University and has played in the NBA Development League, most recently with the Santa Cruz Warriors, while his younger brother, Trayce, is a Major League Baseball player with the Chicago White Sox, after previous appearances with the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After winning the NBA championship in 2015, Thompson and his father became the fourth father-son duo to win an NBA title, joining Matt Guokas, Sr. and Jr.; Rick and Brent Barry; and Bill and Luke Walton.
In late October 2017, Thompson participated in local efforts to raise money for relief for the October 2017 Northern California wildfires, donating $1,000 for every point he scored in home games against the Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors, and Detroit Pistons. With additional sponsor and fan matching Thompson was able to increase that to $5,223 per point, ultimately raising $360,374 by tallying 69 points across the three games. 
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