How Kings beat Warriors in Play-In Tournament: Steph Curry and company headed home

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How Kings beat Warriors in Play-In Tournament: Steph Curry and company headed home

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — There was no goodbye, if anybody was looking or listening for it. There was nothing to say. At the disappointing end of this hectic Golden State Warriors season on Tuesday night, Klay Thompson stopped for a few seconds on his way off the Golden 1 Center floor and silently scanned a few sections of the crowd with a somber look on his face.

He didn’t scowl. He didn’t drop his head. He just looked around, quietly absorbed the scene, nodded his head once or twice and walked into the locker room. Then Klay didn’t speak to reporters that I could tell and wasn’t asked to go to the podium. The Warriors plan for Klay and other players to speak to the media in the season-ending sessions on Wednesday.

So it didn’t feel like a Klay Thompson farewell, at least not to the Warriors. It seemed more like a night of reflection, acceptance and possibly adjustment. He’s not the player he used to be. He really proved that in the Warriors’ season-ending 118-94 Play-In loss to the Sacramento Kings, when Klay missed all 10 of his shots, didn’t score a point and, like the rest of his team, was overwhelmed by the younger, faster Kings.

But he’s still an integral part of the Warriors’ identity and someone the top guys can’t imagine as an ex-Warrior, which also was clearly evident after the game when Steve Kerr, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green were asked about Klay’s future now that he’s weeks away from hitting unrestricted free agency.

I asked Kerr after his presser: Does it hurt you to think that Klay might’ve ended his Warriors career like this?

“No, no, I’m not thinking that way,” Kerr told me. “It hurts to see him struggle out there. But it doesn’t take away from who he still is as a player. In the second half of the year, he was really, really good. There’s still a lot of good years left for Klay. I really believe that.

“And I really believe he’ll be back. I think he’s meant to be a Warrior for life.”

Read the rest of my column here.


What’s Klay Thompson’s future after his 0-for-10 clunker?