To the surprise of no one, the Golden State (and Philadelphia) Warriors were one of the most represented franchises on the NBA‘s 75th anniversary team, with eight alums making the list. Led by Stephen Curry, the Dubs contingent included Kevin Durant, Rick Barry, Wilt Chamberlain, Nate Thurmond, Paul Arizin, Jerry Lucas and Robert Parish.
One name that was conspicuously absent from that list was that of Curry’s cohort, Klay Thompson. Despite being one of the league’s all-time great shooters, a two-way star and a driving force in multiple title runs, the five-time All-Star was left out in the cold.
For his part, Thompson was stung by the omission. But that didn’t stop Draymond Green and some of his other Warriors teammates from trolling him in epic fashion over the snub.
Klay Gets a New Jersey Number
As relayed by ESPN, a group of Thompson’s teammates left a present in the star wing’s locker ahead of practice on Saturday. Namely, a new jersey with the No. 77 emblazoned upon it. In total, 76 players were named to the NBA 75 list; there was apparently a tie for the final spot in the voting.
Green posted video of the jersey hanging in Thompson’s locker, as well as footage of Thompson flexing in his new duds, on his Instagram story.
Despite Thompson’s obvious disappointment over his exclusion, it was all good vibes from the 31-year-old and his teammates in the latter clip.
“77th best player of all time, baby!” exclaimed Thompson as he paraded around the locker room.
“Get the new jersey!” Curry added. “New jersey alert!”
For the record, Thompson ranks 20th all-time in three-point field goals made (1,798) despite having missed the last two seasons. Meanwhile, his 41.9% conversion rate ranks 14th in league history.
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Steve Kerr Didn’t Get the Joke
Not everyone in the Warriors locker room was in on the prank. In fact, some didn’t even understand it initially, including head coach Steve Kerr.
“I didn’t know what it meant, at first,” Kerr said after practice. “And then somebody explained it. I thought that was quite, quite funny.”
Kerr is happy that Thompson can have a sense of humor about the snub. However, he also expects that missing out on the anniversary team spot will fuel his competitive fires.
“You have to have humor with everything,” Kerr said. “His teammates obviously got that done to have a laugh with him. But I think all these guys, they’re so competitive by nature, they wouldn’t have made it this far if they weren’t really competitive. And at some point, guys latch on to things to drive them. Klay has accomplished pretty much everything. He’s a multi-time champion, multi-time All-Star, one of the great 3-point shooters ever. He’s already competitive, but if that’s what it takes to make him more competitive, then we’ll take it.”