There’s at least one person who’s unhappy about the All-NBA team selection, Golden State Warriors’ all-star shooting guard Klay Thompson. Klay was asked about the All-NBA team in an interview and was told that Kemba Walker made the cut over him.
Klay is visibly annoyed when he hears the news that Kemba made the team over him, rolling his eyes and tilting his head away from the camera. “I mean, that’s cool and all but like, when you go to 5 straight finals…I respect those guys but when you go to 5 straight it takes more than a couple All-NBA guys.” Klay didn’t say anything negative or disparaging about Kemba but his eye roll spoke volumes.
Klay went on to say he’d “rather win a championship” than make 3rd team All-NBA. When asked about the potential effect the selection would have on his upcoming contract negotiations, Klay deferred saying “I can’t control it” but then went on to say “Do I think there are that many guards better than me in the league? No.”
Klay has often been the overlooked teammate on a Warriors squad that has 2-time MVP Steph Curry, debatably the best player in the world, Kevin Durant, and the headline-grabbing Draymond Green. His quiet demeanor and lack of controversy have made him seem much less instrumental than he is to this team. Here are the All-NBA selections for this past season.
Kemba and Klay are both in their 8th seasons in the NBA. Kemba had a much more productive year offensively than Klay but his role is much different. Kemba is the only offensive weapon for Charlotte, a team with a glaring lack of talent other than him. Klay is part of the Warriors system and shares the ball with two other offensive powerhouses. Kemba’s usage rate was 31.5% compared to Klay’s 25.6%. It’s clear why the press chose Kemba over Klay this season, just from a statistical standpoint. But as Klay said, the Warriors’ unprecedented run of 5 Finals appearances speaks for itself.
Here’s how the two compared in the 2018-2019 season.
Klay will start in the NBA Finals this year against the winner of the Milwaukee/Toronto series while Kemba has missed the playoffs for his 8th straight season and is rumored to be looking for a different team next year.