‘Flamethrower’ Klay Thompson Is Averaging 20 Points and Shooting 45% On Threes Off Bench | ‘I’ve Got A Few More Years’

Why is everybody trying to push Golden State Warriors legend Klay Thompson out of the league? He’s been a great champion and a significant part of the reigning dynasty of this generation.

He’s aging, but he’s still effective and should be allowed to retire on his terms. The NBA superstar window is short-lived, but Thompson’s done enough not to be asked about the end of his career while his current team is fighting for a playoff berth. 

Klay Thompson still has lots left in the tank and his numbers have spiked since accepting a role as ‘flamethrower’ with golden State’s second unit. . (Photo: Getty Images)

We know that being moved to the bench was a blow to Klay’s ego, and, to be frank, his four rings should have earned him enough grace with fans and media not to be asked about his failures each day. 

The way he returned from two devastating career-threatening injuries should be taken into account as well.

Thompson isn’t running from the narrative that his days are coming to an end. Even though you can say that about most veteran stars of his generation, including his teammates, he’s also not trying to be like LeBron James and play until he’s 40. Klay’s Hall of Fame résumé is basically complete, and it speaks for itself.

You’d think Thompson would retire as a Golden State Warrior, the only team he’s ever known. That would be the perfect ending for a prolific career, but it sounds like he’s leaving the door open if he can’t get a deal done. 

“I mean, you’ve still got to examine all of your options, but I would love to be a Warrior for life,” said Thompson, via Sam Amick of The Athletic. “Whatever happens though, I’ve got a few more years to play this game, so I’m gonna enjoy every second. I realize that I see light at the end of the tunnel, (and) I’m not sure if I want to play until I’m 40, man. That sounds really exhausting.”

Rather than beat to death a narrative that might be hyperbole and describe Thompson’s season as “decline” or a “struggle,” a more accurate description of his season would be one of transition. He’s still a player whose shooting prowess can be a valuable weapon for any championship contender for the next two to three years. 

Klay Thompson Has Thrived In Bench Role As Steve Kerr’s Second-Unit ‘Flamethrower’

The fact that Klay is now backing up youngster Jonathan Kuminga and rookie Brandin Podziemski shouldn’t be looked upon as a negative. Especially if Golden State is able to get on a run in the second half. 

After some reluctance, Thompson embraced the move, dug into the vault and went Splash Brother bonkers in his first game coming off the bench after 727 straight starts and five All-Star appearances.

Klay scored a season-high 35 points on 13 of 22 shooting with zero turnovers or personal fouls. He also surpassed the 15,000-point mark in his career.

Thompson credited “fresh legs,” for his performance, which gave the league a look at how effective he still is and can be in a reserve role.  

In Klay’s last five games off the bench, he’s averaging 19.8 points per game, shooting 48 percent from the field and his three-point shooting is back up to a sizzling 45 percent from three-point range

Steve Kerr describes Klay Thompson as a “flamethrower” in that second unit, according to ESPN.

Draymond Green said earlier this week that the Warriors were still NBA championship contenders. 

With averages of 17.1 points and 2.2 assists on 41.8 percent shooting as a starter, Thompson’s efficiency was down, but as we have seen, he’s still relied on for heavy offensive outputs if Golden State is going to make one last run. 

Thompson, 34, is set to be a free agent this summer after his five-year, $190 million contract expires in July. Both sides have expressed mutual interest, but Klay would probably benefit from another location.

He can always come back to get his jersey retired after his career is done. In addition to the fact that he’s still a productive player, he has spent his entire career in Golden State, and another city, another coach, another system, might actually revive his numbers and prolong his career. 

The Warriors have set such a high standard of success that the greatness of their core players has been taken for granted by NBA fans. The only reason why Thompson is being judged so critically is because Golden State spoiled the basketball world by pulling off an improbable championship in 2022. Nobody ever wants highs like that to end. 

Thompson isn’t washed though. As long as he has that stroke and the NBA is heavily reliant on the perimeter game, you can’t ignore one of the best to ever do it, so stop pushing him towards retirement like he can’t get off a shot.

Back to top