Due to those periodic struggles, Thompson has been forced to endure a healthy dose of criticism from a portion of the Golden State fan base. By the time a post-practice media session rolled around on Tuesday, April 5, the five-time All Star had finally had enough, sending some of that criticism back in the direction of those bandwagon fans.
“Man, nobody is appreciated by the fans. The fans are so, psh. The fans, man,” Thompson said. “The real fans know what’s up. I’m talking about the fans prior to winning championships who sat through many years of not winning.”
“But these new fans who come around and expect greatness, and they weren’t anywhere to be found prior, they can get away. We can forget those folks,” Thompson continued. “They don’t deserve to rep the Warriors.”
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Thompson’s Initial Answer Inspired by Question About Teammate
Thompson’s answer was actually inspired by a question about his teammate Nemanja Bjelica, who has been an object of some derision after joining the team before the start of the 2021-22 regular season.
However, Thompson’s answers highlighted a personal rawness and frustration that Monte Poole of NBC Sports described as both telling and justified in a piece published Tuesday after Thompson made his comments.
If any portion of his low-key tirade was directed toward fans sprinting to social media to urge his benching, Thompson’s ire is entirely justifiable. It’s an insult to his career.
His shot has been streaky, with more games in which he shot under 40 percent (nine) than over 50 percent (six). His defense has had moments good and bad. This is to be expected of someone coming off two major injuries, both of which required surgery, resulting in 31 months of basketball inactivity.
Thompson has played in 30 games since returning from a torn achilles tendon on January 9 — an injury that followed a torn ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. He is averaging 19.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game throughout that stretch on just over 29 minutes of playing time per night, according to Basketball Reference.
Thompson is shooting 41.8% from the field and 37.1% from behind the 3-point line this season, both of which represent career lows and are approximately 4 percentage points lower than his career averages.
Thompson Posted Spectacular Night in Big Game Against Utah Jazz
Thompson has struggled compared to pre-injury self — who made five straight All-Star appearances the same five seasons the Warriors earned trips to five straight NBA Finals, winning three titles along the way. But as Poole noted, those struggles are to be expected.
Thompson is still only 32 years old and likely has several productive years left ahead of him. And considering what he’s accomplished as a member of the Warriors, it’s hard to blame him for his frustration with a certain segment of the fan base.
Perhaps no game has highlighted the potential Thompson yet retains better than the Warriors’ crucial 111-107 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday, April 2. Thompson led the team back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter, scoring 36 points on 14-of-28 from the field, including 8-of-17 from behind the arc.
The Dubs’ win kept them in third place in the Western Conference standings and essentially eliminated any chance of losing home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, which was a real possibility after Draymond Green missed 30 games with a back injury during the middle of the year and Steph Curry suffered a sprained ligament in his foot that will keep him out through the end of the regular season.
And while Thompson’s comments Tuesday may rub some bandwagon fans the wrong way, you can bet they’ll be back on his side if the Warriors finally get healthy and make yet another deep run through the postseason in 2022.