Jamal Crawford gives Warriors star Klay Thompson advice about coming off the bench


Jamal Crawford gives Warriors star Klay Thompson advice about coming off the bench

Now in the twilight of his career, Klay Thompson might have to get used to coming off the bench. Thompson was recently left out of the Golden State Warriors’ starting lineup for the first time since his rookie season, and three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford had some advice for him.

In last Thursday’s 140-137 win over the Utah Jazz, Thompson came off the bench and went berserk. He made seven of his 13 three-point attempts and ended the night with a game-high 35 points. Thompson looked rejuvenated after struggling for most of the 2023-24 season.

Crawford knows a thing or two about having success off the bench. Crawford joined ‘The Draymond Green Show’ and spoke about the adjustment Thompson will have to make.

“I actually reached out to Klay before he came off the bench because we talked about it on TV,” Crawford said. “Everybody is trying to bury Klay. I’m like, he’s still averaging 17 points. I said, ‘The fight is with himself because he’s been so legendary for so long. Klay’s battle is that, and obviously the injuries and everything. With him, I’d tell him to embrace it. I can give him a whole other wind. We don’t see legendary players like that who have had four-time champions and averaging 17 points be like, ‘I’m gonna come off the bench.'”

Crawford also laid out the benefits of Thompson playing a reduced role. When Thompson does get on the court, the offense will run through him, and he might be able to play more freely with less pressure on his shoulders.

“You’re the focal point of the offense when you do that,” Crawford said. “It gets you in a rhythm. Forget off the bench or starting. You’re gonna have better numbers doing this than you’re doing it right now. You may have more fun. Enjoy this s–t. … Enjoy it because it goes so fast, and you’ve earned that.”

Following last week’s game against the Jazz, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Thompson dealt with the situation like a professional.

“I thought he handled everything beautifully, the way he came out — determined, competitive,” Kerr said. “That’s difficult, but Klay’s a champion. He’s one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met. He responded accordingly, and played a great, great game.”

The Warriors’ next game is a home clash against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, so we’ll see if Thompson keeps thriving in his new role.

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