Klay Alexander Thompson (born February 8, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for three seasons with the Washington State Cougars, before being selected in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft by Golden State with the 11th overall pick.
In 2014, Thompson and teammate Stephen Curry set a then-NBA record with 484 combined three-pointers in a season, earning the pair the nickname the "Splash Brothers". He helped guide Warriors to five consecutive NBA Finals from 2015 to 2019, winning championships in 2015, 2017, and 2018. He is a five-time NBA All-Star, two-time All-NBA Third Team and has been named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.
Thompson sustained an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals and missed the entirety of the 2019–20 season. Thompson then suffered a torn achilles tendon while recovering from his knee injury and missed the entire 2020–21 season as well. He returned to play in January 2022, after missing nearly 31 months. He would go on to help the Warriors secure a fourth championship in eight seasons, as the team defeated the Boston Celtics in six games to secure the 2022 title.
Thompson was born in Los Angeles to Julie and Mychal Thompson. His mother was a volleyball player in college for the University of Portland and University of San Francisco, while his father was the first overall pick of the 1978 NBA draft. When Thompson was two, he and his family moved to Lake Oswego, Oregon, where he was childhood friends and Little League teammates with fellow future NBA star Kevin Love. Thompson and his brothers were raised there as Catholics.
When Thompson was 14, his family moved to Ladera Ranch, California, where he graduated from Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita in 2008. In his junior season, he was named to the All-Area second team and to the Orange County third team. As a senior, Thompson averaged 21 points per game and led SMCHS to a 30–5 record and a Division III State Championship appearance. During the state championship, Thompson set a state finals record with seven 3-pointers in a game. He was named Division III State player of the year, League MVP, first-team Best in the West, and an EA Sports Second Team All American.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Klay ThompsonSG||Rancho Santa Margarita, California||Santa Margarita Catholic High||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)||185 lb (84 kg)||Oct 2, 2007|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN grade: 95|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 45 Rivals: 6 (SG); 51 (national)|
As a freshman, Thompson started all 33 games at Washington State University. He was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team and Collegehoops.net All-Freshman Honorable Mention Team after leading his team in 3-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage, and averaging 12.5 points per game.
Thompson began his sophomore season by leading the Cougars to the Great Alaska Shootout Championship, of which he was named Most Outstanding Player after scoring a tournament single game record of 43 points in the championship game. This was also the third highest single game point total in WSU history. After becoming the third fastest Cougar to reach 1,000 points, Thompson was named to the All Pac-10 First Team. He earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors twice during the season and was chosen as a midseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award. Thompson finished the season averaging 19.6 points, which was second in the conference.
As a junior, Thompson again earned All-Pac-10 first team honors after leading the Pac-10 in scoring. He became just the third Cougar to win first-team all-district honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches twice in his career. In addition, he became the first Cougar to win Pac-10 Player of the Week three times when he won the award for the week of Nov. 22–28. He also won the award for the week of December 6–12. Soon after, Thompson was named one of the 30 midseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. In the 2011 Pac-10 tournament, he set tournament records with 43 points and 8 three pointers. Thompson finished the season by setting WSU's single season scoring record with 733 points. He is WSU's 3rd all-time leading scorer.
Golden State Warriors (2011–present)
Thompson declared for, and opted to remain in, the 2011 NBA Draft after his junior season. He was selected 11th overall by the Golden State Warriors. This pick of a guard prompted speculation that the Warriors would trade starting guard Monta Ellis. Warriors general manager Larry Riley praised Thompson for his shooting ability and expressed confidence that Thompson would improve his defensive skills with new coach Mark Jackson.
The NBA did not select Thompson for the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend Rising Stars Challenge. However, in the four games after that decision, Thompson improved in all areas of basketball over his current season averages: points per game (12.5 over 7.6), shooting percentage (54.3% overall including 55.6% for three-pointers, up from 46.7 and 48.1), rebounds (2.8 from 1.6), assists (1.5 from 1.3), steals, and turnovers. The Warriors traded Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks on March 13, 2012. The following game, Thompson scored a season-high 26 points in a loss to the Boston Celtics. A week later, he exceeded his previous high with 27 points in a win over the New Orleans Hornets. As of mid-February 2012, Thompson played around 17 minutes per game, but he played an average 30 minutes per game during the next month. At the end of the season, Thompson was voted to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
On January 29, 2013, Thompson scored a season-high 32 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Warriors coach Mark Jackson said that Thompson and Stephen Curry formed the best shooting duo in NBA history. That season, the two combined made 483 three-pointers, the most ever by an NBA duo.[a] The Warriors defeated the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs and would be matched up against the San Antonio Spurs. On May 8, 2013, Thompson recorded a playoff career-high 34 points against San Antonio, hitting 8 out of 9 three point attempts, along with a career-high 14 rebounds. Thompson and the Warriors would go on to lose to the Spurs in six games.
In the opening game for the Warriors, Thompson scored a season-high 38 points, including 5-of-7 three-pointers. He and Curry set an NBA record for 484 combined threes on the season, besting by one the record they set the previous year. Thompson averaged 18.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists on the year. Thompson and the Warriors entered the 2014 NBA playoffs as the sixth seed in the Western Conference and were matched up with the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round; they lost the series in seven games.
2014–15 season: First All-Star selection and NBA Championship
On October 31, 2014, Thompson signed a four-year contract extension with the Warriors. The next day, he scored a then career-high 41 points in the Warriors' 127-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. On January 23, 2015, Thompson scored a career-high 52 points, with 11 three-pointers, in a 126–101 win over the Sacramento Kings. In the third quarter of that game, he scored an NBA-record 37 points for a single quarter, going 13-for-13 from the field, including nine three-pointers (also a league record for a single quarter). The 13 field goals tied David Thompson's (no relation) record for a quarter.[b] On January 29, 2015, Thompson was named a reserve for the 2015 Western Conference All-Star team for the first time in his career.
On March 8, 2015, Thompson hit 3 three-pointers against the Los Angeles Clippers to pass head coach Steve Kerr (726) on the NBA's all-time list. On March 17, he was ruled out for 7–10 days with a sprained ankle. On June 7, in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Thompson scored a playoff career-high 34 points in a losing effort to the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to win the NBA Championship and end their 40-year championship drought.
Thompson began the season averaging 17.2 points per game over his first 21 games, but failed to record a 30-point game over that stretch. That streak ended on December 8, as he scored a then season-high 39 points on 13-of-21 shooting in a 131–123 win over the Indiana Pacers, helping the Warriors extend their unbeaten record to start the season to 23–0. The Warriors' NBA-record start ended after 24 wins when they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 108–95 on December 12. In the Warriors' next game, on December 16, Thompson scored 27 of his then season-high 43 points in the third quarter of their 128–103 win over the Phoenix Suns. On January 8, he recorded his third consecutive game with 30 or more points, finishing with 36 points in a 128–108 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. On January 27, he scored a season-high 45 points on 14-of-20 shooting in a 127–107 win over the Dallas Mavericks. The following night, he was named a Western Conference All-Star reserve for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, earning his second straight All-Star nod. On February 13, he competed in the All-Star Weekend's Three-Point Contest and won the event after defeating Stephen Curry and Devin Booker in the final round. On March 25, he scored 40 points against the Dallas Mavericks. Two days later, he had another 40-point game against the Philadelphia 76ers, scoring 40 points in consecutive games for the first time in his career. On April 7, Thompson scored 14 points against the San Antonio Spurs, helping the Warriors become the second team in NBA history to win 70 games in a season.
As the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the Warriors faced the eighth-seeded Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. In Game 5 of the series, Thompson became the first player in NBA history to make at least seven three-pointers in consecutive playoff games, as he helped the Warriors advance through to the second round with a 4–1 victory, stepping up with Stephen Curry out injured. The Warriors went on to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 4–1 in the second round, moving on to the Western Conference Finals where they faced the Oklahoma City Thunder. After going down 3 games to 1 following a Game 4 loss, Thompson helped the Warriors rally in Games 5 and 6 to even the series at 3–3. In Game 6, Thompson made a playoff-record 11 three-pointers and scored 41 points, as the Warriors forced a Game 7 with a 108–101 victory. With a Game 7 victory, the Warriors became the 10th team to rally from a 3–1 deficit and win a postseason series. The Warriors went on to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals in seven games, despite being up 3–1 in the series.
Back-to-back championships (2017–2018)
Thompson opened the first six games of the 2016–17 season shooting 11-of-53 from 3-point range (20.75 percent). In the last 11 games of November, Thompson then went a combined 39-of-84 from 3-point range (46.4 percent). On December 5, 2016, he scored 60 points (shooting 21-of-33 and 8-of-14 on three-pointers) in 29 minutes over just three quarters in a 142–106 win over the Indiana Pacers, becoming the first player in NBA history to score 60 points in less than 30 minutes of action. Thompson had an NBA season-high and career-best performance for the highest-scoring output by a Golden State player in more than 42 years. His 40 first-half points tied him for second-most scored in a half over the past decade. In addition, Thompson became the first Warrior to score 60 points since Hall of Famer Rick Barry's 64 on March 26, 1974, joining Naismith honorees Wilt Chamberlain and Joe Fulks as the only Golden State players to do so. On January 26, he was named a Western Conference All-Star reserve for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. He participated in the Three-Point Contest, but he failed to defend his title as he was eliminated in the first round. On April 4, 2017, he scored 41 points (his 10th career 40-point game) in a 121–107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Warriors finished the season as the first seed in the West with a 67–15 record.
Thompson struggled with his shooting for extended stretches during the playoffs, but his defense against opposing guards like Damian Lillard, Patty Mills, and Kyrie Irving stood out. Following a 129–115 victory in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals over the San Antonio Spurs, the Warriors reached their third straight NBA Finals series, becoming the first team in league history to start the playoffs 12–0. Thompson helped the Warriors win their second championship in three years with a 4–1 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals. The Warriors finished the playoffs with a 16–1 record, attaining the best postseason winning percentage in NBA history.
On October 29, 2017, Thompson scored 29 points in a 115–107 loss to the Detroit Pistons, becoming the 11th player in franchise history to eclipse 9,000 career points. On December 20, 2017, he scored 27 of his 29 points in the first half and made his first nine field goals in a 97–84 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. On December 27, 2017, in a 126–101 win over the Utah Jazz, Thompson hit three 3-pointers, moving him into a tie for third with Dana Barros at 89 consecutive games with a 3-pointer. On January 17, 2018, he scored 38 points in a 119–112 win over the Chicago Bulls. In a 134–127 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on February 22, 2018, Thompson moved past Joe Barry Carroll's 9,996 points to earn 10th place on the franchise's career scoring list, also becoming the 10th Warrior to reach 10,000 regular season career points. Two days later, in a 112–80 win over the Thunder, Thompson passed Neil Johnston (10,023) for ninth place on the franchise's career scoring list. On March 31, 2018, following an eight-game absence with a broken right thumb, Thompson scored 25 points on 10-for-19 shooting in a 112–96 win over the Sacramento Kings. On April 5, 2018, in a 126–106 loss to the Indiana Pacers, Thompson was 4 of 9 on 3-pointers to move past Tim Hardaway (1,542) for 25th on the league's career list. Three days later, he scored 22 of his 34 points in the first quarter of the Warriors' 117–100 win over the Phoenix Suns. Thompson helped the Warriors defeat the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs in five games, as he scored 24 points in a 99–91 win in Game 5. As a result, Thompson joined Rick Barry (699) and Curry (652) as Warriors players with 600 postseason field goals. In Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets, Thompson moved past Barry (1,776) for second place on the Warriors' career postseason scoring list. In Game 6, Thompson knocked down nine 3-pointers on his way to 35 points, as the Warriors rallied from an early 17-point deficit to stave off elimination with a 115–86 victory over the Rockets. In Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Thompson played in his franchise-record 100th postseason game. He also became the sixth player to ever make 300 3s in the postseason, joining Curry as Warriors to reach the feat. He scored 20 points in the game to help the Warriors take a 2–0 lead with a 122–103 win over the Cavaliers. The Warriors went on to sweep the series to claim back-to-back titles.
Over the first seven games of 2018–19, Thompson shot 5 for 36 from behind the arc and failed to have a 20-point game. He did not make multiple three-pointers in any of the contests, a career-worst seven-game drought for him. On October 29, 2018, against the Chicago Bulls, he hit an NBA-record 14 threes to break Curry's former mark of 13. Thompson scored 52 points in 27 minutes while making 14-for-24 of his threes and shooting 18-for-29 overall from the field. His 10 three-pointers in the first half tied Chandler Parsons' league record set in 2014, and Golden State made 17 threes in the first half to set the NBA record for a half. On November 24, he scored 31 points with five 3-pointers in a 117–116 win over the Sacramento Kings. Thompson moved into 21st place on the NBA's career 3-pointers list when he hit his 1,609th in the first quarter, moving past Jason Richardson. On December 29, he had his second-highest scoring game of the season with 32 points in a 115–105 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. He shot his way out of a slump by hitting 12 of 21 from the field and 4 of 5 from 3-point range. On January 8, he scored 43 points with seven 3-pointers in a 122–95 win over the New York Knicks. On January 21, he tied an NBA record by making his first 10 attempts from 3-point range on his way to scoring 44 points in a 130–111 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. He finished 10 of 11 from beyond the arc and 17 of 20 from the floor overall. On March 8, he scored 39 points and made nine 3-pointers in a 122–105 win over the Denver Nuggets. On March 13, he scored 30 points in a 106–104 win over the Houston Rockets. He made five 3-pointers to give him 203 for the season, joining Curry as the only players in NBA history to have seven straight seasons with 200 3-pointers. Praised for his defense throughout his career, Thompson was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team for the first time, earning second team honors. For Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, Thompson missed his first career playoff game after straining his left hamstring late in Game 2.He returned in Game 4 and scored 28 points with six 3-pointers in a 105–92 loss, as the Warriors went down 3–1 in the series. In Game 5, he helped the Warriors stave off elimination with 26 points in a 106–105 win, thus cutting the Raptors' series lead to 3–2. However, in Game 6, Thompson suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and departed with 30 points midway through the third quarter, as the Warriors went on to lose the game and the series with a 114–110 defeat. He finished the playoffs in third for career postseason 3-pointers (374), trailing only Curry (470) and Ray Allen (385).
2019–2021: Dealing with injuries
On July 1, 2019, Thompson agreed to stay with the Warriors on a five-year, $190 million maximum contract with an additional fifteen-percent trade kicker as a result of not making an All-NBA Team, which could have made him eligible for a supermax deal like Curry was in 2017. The next day, on July 2, Thompson underwent successful knee surgery on his torn ACL, and missed the entire 2019–20 season as a result. Thompson officially re-signed with the Warriors on July 10. He returned to practice with the Warriors in September 2020. On November 19, it was announced that Thompson would miss the entire 2020–21 season due to an Achilles tendon injury, which he suffered in a pickup game in Los Angeles.
On November 28, 2021, Thompson was assigned to the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State's NBA G League affiliate, alongside James Wiseman for rehab purposes. He was recalled on December 1. Thompson and Wiseman were yet again assigned to Santa Cruz on December 11.
Comeback and fourth NBA championship (2022–present)
On January 8, 2022, Thompson announced he would make his return to the court on January 9 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. In his return, Thompson scored 17 points on 7-from-18 shooting in 20 minutes, as the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 96–82. On February 12, Thompson scored 16 of his then season-high 33 points in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers in a 117–115 comeback win. On March 12, Thompson scored a then season-high 38 points along with six rebounds and five assists in a 122–109 win over the reigning champions Milwaukee Bucks. On April 10, in the final game of the regular season Thompson scored a season-high 41 points for the Warriors in a 128–107 win over the New Orleans Pelicans to clinch the third seed in the Western Conference.
In Game 3 of the first round of the 2022 playoffs, Thompson scored 26 points in a 118–113 win over the Denver Nuggets. He passed Hall of Fame guard Ray Allen for third on the NBA playoffs all-time three-pointers list. In Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals, Thompson posted 30 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks while going 8 for 14 from behind the 3-point arc in a 110–96 closeout win over the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies. On May 26, in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, Thompson scored 32 points and had 8 three-pointers in a closeout 120–110 win over the Dallas Mavericks to advance to his sixth NBA Finals where they'll face the Boston Celtics. In Game 1 of the Finals, Thompson passed LeBron James for second on the NBA playoffs all-time three-pointers list. In Game 5 of the Finals, Thompson joined teammate Stephen Curry and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to make at least 100 3-pointers on the championship stage. He also passed LeBron James for second on the NBA Finals all-time three-pointers list. The Warriors would win in six games, giving Thompson his fourth NBA Championship.
National team career
Thompson was a member of the United States national team that won the gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics. He also won gold as a member of the Under-19 national team at the 2009 FIBA Under-19 World Championship.
Thompson is both a prolific and efficient shooter, particularly from range, as well as an elite free-throw shooter. He relies upon a shooting form that has been described as "textbook" and "picture-perfect". Though he is capable of handling the ball in the Warriors offense, Thompson is primarily a catch-and-shoot player, taking advantage of back-cuts and screens set by teammates to make space for his exceptionally accurate quick-release shot. Although Thompson is not known for blocking shots or creating steals, he is considered a strong defender thanks to his size at the guard position and ability to defend against both elite guards and wings. He is also praised for his stamina. Thompson is also known for his quiet, laid-back personality, rarely showing emotion in or out of games. He is one of the few players in the NBA sponsored by Chinese shoe company Anta, signing a 10-year deal with it in 2016.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes season in which Thompson won an NBA Championship|
Accomplishments and awards
- 4× NBA champion: 2015, 2017, 2018, 2022
- 5× NBA All-Star: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
- 2× All-NBA Third Team: 2015, 2016
- NBA All-Defensive Second Team: 2019
- NBA Three-Point Contest champion: 2016
- NBA All-Rookie First Team: 2012
- NBA regular season record for most points scored in a quarter (37)
- NBA regular season record for most three-pointers made in a game (14)
- NBA record for most three-pointers made in a single playoffs (98 tied with Stephen Curry)
Thompson's older brother, Mychel, played basketball for Pepperdine University and had a brief stint in the NBA with the Cavaliers, while his younger brother, Trayce, became a Major League Baseball player. Thompson faced controversy when he was suspended for his final regular season game at WSU after being issued a misdemeanor criminal citation for marijuana possession. After winning the NBA championship in 2015, Thompson and his father became the fourth father-son duo to win an NBA title, joining Matt Guokas Sr. and Jr., Rick and Brent Barry, and Bill and Luke Walton.
Thompson is known for his offbeat, dry sense of humor.
He owns an English bulldog named Rocco.
In late October 2017, Thompson participated in local efforts to raise money for relief for the October 2017 Northern California wildfires, donating $1,000 for every point he scored in home games against the Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors, and Detroit Pistons. With additional sponsor and fan matching Thompson was able to increase that to $5,223 per point, ultimately raising $360,374 by tallying 69 points across the three games.
Thompson is an avid chess player and has met with the chess world champion, Magnus Carlsen.
|2021||Space Jam: A New Legacy||Himself, Voice of Wet-Fire|
- National Basketball Association portal
- List of National Basketball Association single-game scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career 3-point scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career playoff 3-point scoring leaders
- List of second-generation National Basketball Association players
- Thompson Family
- Gallery:Thompson Family
- Gallery:Klay Thompson
- Previous record was 435 by the Orlando Magic's Dennis Scott and Nick Anderson in 1995–96.
- ^ The 37 points broke the previous record of 33 held by George Gervin and Carmelo Anthony. The nine three-pointers eclipsed the mark of eight by Michael Redd and Joe Johnson.
- ^ NBA record three-pointers in a playoff game at the time; Damian Lillard surpassed Thompson with twelve three-pointers on June 1, 2021.
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com
- Washington State Cougars bio