Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson channeled the spirits of Kobe Bryant and Reggie Miller in a fiery performance that secured a 109-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
Speaking to Steve Smith on NBA TV after the game, Thompson, a 12th-year veteran, said that he idolized Bryant, who was never interested in making friends on the court, and Miller, who he calls himself the “modern-day Reggie.” Thompson said he loved the way both players competed and left everything on the floor, and that he wanted to do the same with his career.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 27, 2023
Against the Timberwolves, Thompson shouldered an even heavier offensive burden than usual, with Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins sidelined. He finished with 32 points, five rebounds, and four assists, hitting a pair of tough three-pointers and somehow banking in a 20-footer from the corner. He also found Anthony Lamb and Donte DiVincenzo for threes in the latter half of the fourth quarter, bringing his team back from a nine-point deficit at the start of the final stanza.
Thompson’s performance drew comparisons to Bryant and Miller, two of the most notorious competitors and crunch-time shot-makers in league history. They left their names in league history, and Thompson is following in their footsteps.
Even after four titles and a pair of devastating injuries that called his career into question, it’s clear that Thompson is not finished writing his story.
In his interview with Smith, Thompson emphasized that the greatest to ever play the game were the greatest competitors. He believes that his style resembles that of Miller, who got under so many people’s skin, and that he wants to leave it all out there and compete at the highest level he can.
With Thompson’s impressive performance against the Timberwolves, it’s clear that he’s on the right track to achieving his goals and continuing to add to his legacy as a player.