Cameras rolling at the Chase Center Wednesday night captured a pregame sight that fans of the Golden State Warriors have longed for more than two years to see.
Klay Thompson, fully clad in the home team’s uniform, could be witnessed participating in a shoot-around and as anyone who is familiar with his game might expect, the All-Star shooting guard was absolutely unconscious from deep.
The Twitter account Hoop Central posted a portion of the Thompson video online before the Dubs’ matchup with the Charlotte Hornets November 3.
“Klay warming up in uniform,” the tweet read. “The return is near. 🔥”
LeBron James Pays Thompson Compliment After Warmup Video
Needless to say, fans of the Warriors, and of the NBA in general, were thrilled to witness Thompson draining buckets pregame and looking like his old self. But one fan with arguably more notoriety, not to mention more personal experience with the tricks of Thompson’s trade, than just about everyone else combined showered the Golden State guard with the highest of praise.
LeBron James, of the Los Angeles Lakers, took to Twitter himself Wednesday night to show support for an opponent he has faced down in four NBA Finals matchups — three of which saw Thompson take home the ring.
“Can watch him shoot the 💨 ALL DAY LONG!!” James posted. “TOOOOOOO PURE.”
Thompson’s Return Will Cement Warriors Among NBA Favorites
Thompson is set to begin shooting 3-pointers in actual games around Christmas 2021, if not earlier. When he does, the Warriors are likely to vault into position as one of the favorites to win the Western Conference, if not the NBA Title.
The Dubs have started off the season on a hot streak, entering Wednesday’s showdown with the Hornets as the second-place team in the West with a 5-1 record, behind only the Utah Jazz at 6-1.
All-NBA point guard Steph Curry, Thompson’s backcourt running mate, is also doing his best impression of himself from last year early in the young season, leading the NBA in scoring at 28.7 points per game entering the night. Curry won his second league scoring title in 2020-21, putting up 32 points per contest, per Basketball Reference.
Considerable hype surrounded the Warriors’ potential for another championship run leading into the season, and Golden State’s stellar performance since real games began has only buoyed predictions of their success from analysts like Bill Simmons, of The Ringer.
“I think they might actually be the best team in the West,” Simmons said on his self-named podcast last week. “What we’re seeing now, how advanced they are, Klay’s coming back and assets for a trade.”
Simmons continued, saying that if Curry continues playing the way he is, James and the Lakers will have much to be concerned about come playoff time — as will every contender in the West.
“Steph’s just at the peak of his powers,” he said. “You can see it game to game.”
“It’s like watching (Greg) Maddux or Pedro (Martinez) way back when, where it’s just like, ‘Oh this guy knows every single thing he wants to do,'” Simmons added. “He knows how to play off his teammates, they know how to play off of him, and the sum of the parts are better than the whole.”