Klay interviews: the gift that keeps on giving
[Full video for subscribers only]
I think I’ll do more “quick hits” like this (relatively speaking; without the notes and quotes below, there’s not a ton). It goes without saying: Klay Thompson is a national treasure, the gift that keeps on giving.
Case in point: the postgame interview after the Golden State Warriors lost to the Memphis Grizzlies two nights ago, which I only got around to (sort of) transcribing just now because my postgame livestream lasted even longer than the game itself (!) — five hours in total — and so I was exhausted yesterday, plus I had to finally nail down our process for selecting winners for the Klay Celebration Giveaway/Raffle (thanks to Rebecca Licht for suggesting Random.org).
Btw please join me again coming up if you want in-depth in-game and postgame Warriors analysis with my “LGW PASS” paradigm — Positively Appreciating Surrounding Situations (4.5k views!):
That’s right, we’re getting viewers and commenters who are largely “PVO”, Positives Vibes Only, and it’s great to discuss and root for your squad in this environment. It’s finally working! The anti-thesis of Twitter!
Incidentally I found Klay’s postgame pleasantly surprising at nearly six minutes long, but also the fact that he went last and sat there for that much time with the bus engine running (presumably) gives me confidence that we may see him more on the podium than in years past.
As I began to write the notes below, every word and every pause from Klay became more and more important because it showed his personality that we’re now so used to. Thus, I ended up transcribing nearly all of it, when usually in the interests of time I can get by using a ton of ellipses to skip through non-juicy quotes.
Of course, Klay staying at the podium for more than career average two minutes (I kid), or at all, comes with the caveats of him not having just played a bad game and that he actually played — he’ll probably sit out the game coming up against the Chicago Bulls, more on that coming soon.
And note that in years past, we had Kevin Durant, so often times Klay would get off the hook from speaking to reporters. He’d maybe speak once per week back in the KD era. Perhaps Klay knows now that he will need to step up to the mic more, which is great for us!
I could be wrong, but there seems to be a parallel with his Q&As and his performance on the court. This particular postgame interview found him racing through the quotes at times, polished, as if he were a steely veteran in front of the camera even though he’s been largely absent from the podium for two years. I recall years ago where sometimes he would stumble through words or lose his train of thought as if you or I suddenly had to answer questions with a mic stuck in front of our faces.
This improvement, I find, is consistent with his “Game 6” level on the hardwood. I recall the 2019 playoffs as bearing witness to a significant leap in his play to undisputed Hall-of-Fame status. Sure, he had the 14 threes in Chicago during the regular season and the Game 6 in OKC and probably another one I’m vaguely remembering in Houston, but the 2019 Finals was when it was like he was just on another level of elite-ness. That he had ascended to super-stardom, although it got cut short so abruptly. The attacks of the rim against the Toronto Raptors come to mind.
It’s been so long that my memories of Klay in front of the mic can only recall previous interviews at the Oakland practice facility. The interview in Memphis was a far cry from those on the top floor of the Oakland Marriott back in the day. It seemed to mirror his on-court performance. Perhaps the livestreams on the Bay have given him some more practice in front of a camera.
Also, as promised from the #KlayDay recap and thankfully in an article that still talks about Klay, I have the additional for-subscribers-only extra insider stuff with his trainer Charlie Torres beneath the paywall demarcation line at the bottom of this post, way below. 👇
Belated postgame MEM notes after GP2:
Unsolicited, looks at boxscore: “Good times.”
How did you feel? “Felt great conditioning-wise…wish I played better…not happy with the result…grateful to get the first road game out of the way.”
Recap: “Adrenaline wasn’t as high because I wasn’t playing in front our home crowd, but there were a lot of Warriors fans there…wasn’t like that at the beginning of my career…”
Attacking rim: “It’s a small sample size but I’m just being aggressive. I always know defenders are gonna play me tight just because of my jumpers…got my shot blocked there couple times tonight so I’m gonna watch those plays again…just be aggressive and try to finish over the defense and it was fun tonight.”
Satisfied? “No, I expect greatness every time I step on the floor. I’m not satisfied with 5-for-13. I should’ve had at least 8 makes tonight…I’ve had years where I don’t start out as well as I want but I’ll have stretches where I’m on fire…”
Minutes: “That’s probably the biggest challenge for me…I’m such a competitor, I wanna play 35. But I gotta dial it back and accept reality…you can’t just take that much time off and jump into a 40-minute ball game. That’s exponential. I gotta build that up, so at times I’ll go back to the bench frustrated but I trust our performance team to have my back. They, uhh — yeah, to have my back.”
Ramp up minutes? “Hopefully in a week or two. I feel really great, I don’t even feel tired right now and (long pause) hopefully soon because I really love to compete and I love being out there.”
Grizzlies remind you of early Warriors teams? “Umm (long pause). Yeah, they’re a good team. Their record reflects that but idk, man, our team is pretty unique especially those early championship years, kinda changed the way the game was played. But yeah they’re a good team, top four in the West, possible playoff matchup down the road and we do not take them lightly.”
See that Grizz want to prove themselves? “Umm (pause), yeah, I mean, every team wants to beat us which, when you’re a Top One or Two team in the NBA, you’re gonna face everybody’s best shot. So, a resounding yes to that question (clears throat).”
Know rest which b2b game? “No, I don’t. Those are both really good teams and I’m excited to play again. I’m just so excited to be back in the mix.”
Rotation: “…only guys I really have a history with are Kevon, Steph, Andre and Draymond so we’re gonna get better as a team and we’re gonna figure out how to play off each other.”
Draymond: “I mean, that’s the nature of the beast. Injuries happen and I’m really excited for that day that I get to play with Dray. We really feed off each other offensively and defensively.”
Defense tonight? “I thought I played very well tonight. I was staying in front of my man. I was quick to react. I could’ve been a little better on the boards but as far as just staying in front of guys, I thought I did well.”
No more questions, gets up: “Frickin’ A. I hate losing (in an upward singing tone).
Below this “Subscribe now” button and paywall demarcation line 👇 is the entire postgame interview (5:57) from start to finish, for our paid subscribers only. Soon, I’ll be working on splicing various snippets to our YouTube channel (which is public and free).