Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.

Basketball fans possibly witnessed the end of an era on Tuesday, April 16 as the Warriors flamed out of the play-in tournament with a 118-94 loss to the Kings.

The biggest talking point coming out of the loss was the performance of Klay Thompson, who missed all 10 of his shot attempts and sat on the bench with a blank stare during the waning seconds of the ball game.

Klay Thompson tonight:

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Thompson, an unrestricted free agent in July, could be suiting up for a different team next season. But his fellow Splash Brother, Steph Curry, isn’t ready to bid goodbye yet. After the April 16 game, Curry defended Thompson’s performance.

“Everybody’s going to talk about one game,” Curry said, via Associated Press. “I know he wanted to play better. … I know he’s a true champion. We all prepare ourselves to play our best when the lights are bright. When it doesn’t happen, nobody needs to tell you anything.”

Klay Thompson soaking it all in before leaving the court 😢

Steve Kerr and Draymond Green react

Coach Steve Kerr echoed similar emotions as Curry, making it clear that he can’t imagine a Warriors locker room with Thompson.

“We need Klay back,” Kerr said, via The Athletic. “I know he had a tough night tonight, but what he represents for us, the spacing… but Klay’s presence means so much to the spacing on the floor, to the flow of the offense.”

“He’s still got good years left. And I know I speak for everybody in the (organization) — we want him back,” Kerr added. “What Klay has meant to this franchise, as good as he still is, we desperately want him back.”

Draymond Green — the other member of the Warriors’ famed Big 3 that helped them win four championships — is also hopeful to see Thompson back for the 2024-25 season.

“He has a decision to make,” Green said, via Associated Press. “He’s going to make the best decision for him. The team has a decision to make. They’ll make the best decision for the team. I don’t think there’s any scenario where Klay leaves and that’s the best scenario for this team of organization. … They did right by me. They’ve done right by Steph. They’ve done right by all of us.”

Green then brought up the fact that Golden State offered Thompson a five-year, $190 million max contract in July 2019 despite the sharpshooter going down with an ACL injury in the 2019 NBA Finals against the Raptors. The defensive ace believes the Warriors would once “do right by” Thompson and offer him a lucrative deal.

Draymond Green on his belief the organization will prioritize Klay Thompson: “They did right by me. They’ve done right by Steph. They’ve done right by all of us. Klay tore his ACL and they gave him $160 million dollars.”

What’s Next For Klay Thompson?

Thompson has a lot to ponder about until July as he finds himself in unfamiliar territory. Save for the injury years of 2020 and 2021, the Warriors have routinely made deep postseason runs since 2013. For the first time in years, Thompson will get to sit back and watch other teams battle for a shot at winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Perhaps watching the playoffs unfold could influence Thompson’s free agency decision. During an interview with “The Draymond Green Show” on April 8, Thompson hinted at making an informed decision in free agency rather than an emotional one.

“Yes, I want to re-sign with the Dubs, but I also have to prioritize my mental health and lay out what is important to me at this point of my career,” Thompson said. “I know we have so much basketball ahead [play-in, playoffs] that I haven’t given it much thought.

“Because if I start thinking about July 1st, I’m just doing myself a disservice. I’m not here… for me it’s just about staying present. I just want to stay present and appreciate being in the NBA.”

If April 16 did mark Thompson’s farewell from Golden State, it was about as anti-climatic a finish as anyone could have scripted.

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