The Golden State Warriors decided to tease Klay Thompson a bit in honor of being dropped from the NBA’s 75th anniversary team.
Before practice Saturday, some of Thompson’s teammates hung a number 77 jersey in his locker. Warriors forward Draymond Green posted two short videos on his Instagram stories of the jersey hanging from Thompson’s locker and then another video of Thompson sporting the jersey as he walked through the Warriors weight room.
When asked by Green to give a message to fans, Thompson, who recently posted a couple of times on social media about how disappointed he was at not being listed, took good-natured jokes in stride.
“77!” Thompson said. “The greatest player of all time, darling!”
“Get the new shirt!” Warriors star Stephen Curry said with a laugh. “New Jersey alert!”
Thompson has missed the past two seasons as he continues to recover from a left anterior cruciate ligament tear suffered in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals and a right Achilles tendon tear sustained on November 18, 2020. .
“I didn’t know what it meant at first,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after practice. “And then someone explained it. I thought it was pretty, pretty funny.”
Kerr thought it was a good sign that Thompson could joke about the snub despite being disappointed. The reason the jersey was number 77 and not number 76 was because the NBA announced that there was a tie in the voting, adding an extra player and making it a roster of 76 players.
“You have to be humorous with everything,” Kerr said. “His teammates obviously did that to laugh with him, but I think all these guys, they’re so competitive by nature, they wouldn’t have gotten this far if they weren’t really competitive. And at some point guys hold onto things to push them forward. Klay has accomplished almost everything. He’s a multiple champion, multiple-time All-Star, one of the best 3-point shooters in history. He’s already competitive, but if that’s what it takes to do he is more competitive than he is. we will accept it. “
Kerr had an idea which of the Warriors players might have been the mastermind behind the shirt operation.
“I guess Steph,” Kerr said. “But I can’t confirm it. It’s an assumption.”