Golden State Warriors superstar Klay Thompson was the latest guest on Los Angeles Clippers small forward Paul George’s podcast, “Podcast P” Presented by Wave Sports & Entertainment. During the appearance, the four-time NBA champion talked about an altercation he had with Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker during a matchup last season, where he held four fingers up at Booker to seemingly rub in his face that he had four rings, while the Suns guard has yet to capture the achievement. Thompson admitted that he regretted doing it on George’s podcast.
“My game wasn’t where it was at and we all get insecure at times,” Thompson said. “I am man enough to admit that we all have our moments of weakness. I am not really proud of that one because I see Devin Booker and I should be proud of this young man. The work he has put in.”
Booker showed his appreciation for Thompson’s comments on Instagram but threw a slight at the Clippers star.
“Is that the answer you was looking for?” Booker said.
George caught wind of Booker’s comments and responded during a Twitch stream on August 8 saying the Suns star had a “sorry a** response.”
Stephen A. Smith Puts Clippers Owner on Notice
The Clippers thought they had a championship-contending roster when they mortgaged their future to land Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in 2019, but thus far, they have yet to make it to the NBA Finals. After suffering another early playoff exit in 2023, ESPN NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith said the Clippers should force Leonard to retire.
“I’m not in any way questioning the legitimacy of Kawhi Leonard’s injury, but he is the absolute worst superstar you could possibly have on your team,” Smith said on “First Take” on April 26.
“He is barely ever there. And on top of it all, he does nothing to market or promote your franchise…Steve Ballmer and the Los Angeles Clippers should force Kawhi Leonard to retire.”
JJ Redick Comes to Kawhi Leonard’s Defense
Kawhi has a long list of injuries dating back to the 2017 Western Conference Finals when he landed on Warriors’ center Zaza Pachulia’s ankle, which ruled him out for the series. In 2021, Leonard suffered a torn ACL that held him out of play for several months and as a result, has had to deal with several nagging injuries.
He appeared in just 52 games this season, but injuries are one of the more unfortunate parts of sports, which is also unavoidable. As a former NBA player who dealt with injuries throughout his career, ESPN NBA analyst JJ Redick came to Kawhi’s defense.
“I mean this in the nicest way possible to both of you, but listening to each of you right now, it’s very obvious that you’ve played zero high-level basketball and you do not understand the requirements of doing that. A sprained ankle is very different than a sprained knee. A sprained knee for someone who has torn a quad tendon, and who has torn their ACL, is very different than someone playing on a hobbled ankle in the 1970s. It’s a terrible analogy,” Redick said in response to Smith.
“You say, ‘I’m not questioning his injury. You just said, ‘We saw Paul George get hurt. We didn’t see Kawhi get hurt.’ Let’s give the guy some credit. He did it in Game 1. He went out there and battled Game 2. Guess what? If he could play, he would play. Do you not have empathy for someone who has come back from two major leg injuries? Do you not?”