Shooting guard Klay Thompson stands a chance to become a free agent at the end of the season, but strongly suggested he doesn’t intend to play for anyone but the Warriors.
“It’s not going to be a thing,” Thompson told Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “The fact that I’m going into my 13th season — that alone — it gives me such peace of mind. Granted, I’ve made money, I’ve been able to take care of my family, myself, the people I love. But when I started playing this game, I never once thought I’m playing the game because I’m going to be rich and famous. Never did.
“I played this game because my dad played. I idolized him. My favorite athletes were hoopers. (Kobe Bryant). Clyde Drexler and Rasheed Wallace, guys I was able to watch growing up. Reggie Miller. I just wanted to do something I loved for a living. It happened to be basketball. The fact I’m doing it for a 13th straight season is amazing.
“I don’t need to go into this year and … I know if I just do my job and I’m in shape and I compete at my highest level, I’m going to make money in this league for a long time. So I don’t worry about it. I’m blessed beyond measure. Obviously you want to make the most in the window you have as an athlete. But I’m not going to let that get in the way of winning a championship. When you win, everything else will be taken care of.”
Small forward Dillon Brooks told reporters he wasn’t all that surprised by his ejection in Tuesday’s preseason win over the Pacers.
Brooks implied he may have a target on his back by the officials, given his history of confrontation while with the Grizzlies.
“What is the name,” Brooks said. “What’s my name? My name is ‘Dillon the Villain,’ so I guess.”
Brooks was ejected just five minutes into the game after what the refs believed was a vicious hit below the belt of Pacers center Daniel Theis. That followed a brief skirmish between the two moments earlier.
“On the previous play, Theis may have flopped, in his [Brooks] opinion,” Rockets head coach Ime Udoka told reporters. “So, he does something on the next play. You can’t let that carry over. The same guy baited him twice.”
“You have to learn to control your emotions and stay in the game, you can’t get yourself taken out in the first quarter,. We love his aggressiveness and physicality, but reputations carry in the NBA, and people will look for certain things, and you have to learn to monitor that better.”
Coach Tyronn Lue said while the Clippers were bitten by the injury bug last season, it’s not necessarily an excuse to not get where they had hoped to go.
“When you end the season on — I know we had injuries and everything — but when you end the season and you don’t accomplish your goal of winning a championship, making it to the NBA Finals, you have a lot of time to sit back and reflect on things you could have done better,” Lue said, via Law Murray of The Athletic.
Forward Kawhi Leonard, of course, missed all of 2021-22 with an ACL injury, then returned to play in 52 games last season. He also made no excuses for the Clippers’ first-round playoff exit vs. the Suns.
“Last year, I think everybody was a little excited just by me coming back,” he said. “I didn’t feel like we really — we skipped some steps, I would say. That’s on all of us in here: the front office, me included, and the coaching staff.”
- The Clippers continued to be mentioned as the strongest suitor for 76ers guard James Harden, who demanded a trade in June. But no progress has been made in those talks lately, reports and hoops Wire sources suggest.