Move over, Steph — Klay Thompson in China is the NBA’s everyman.

By Jeremy Woo
July 06, 2017

The Golden State Warriors are the most famous team of basketball players on the planet. This, we can reasonably state as fact.

Now, who’s the most famous Warrior? Who cares. Perhaps the better question is...which Warrior is the most relatable?

It’s not Kevin Durant. It’s not Draymond Green. It’s totally not Swaggy P (wow, he’s on the Warriors now). David West, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston are too old (at least for the target demographic of this blog post).

The answer was once Steph Curry, but now that he’s won two MVPs and will soon sign the richest contract in the history of American professional sports...throw that out the window. The most relatable player on the Warriors is Klay Thompson.

Thompson is the rare blend of reliably deadly from three and also reliably laid back and ready to crack open a beer on the sidelines. He’s inching closer to our vaunted pantheon of athletes who are also slacker heroes, alongside luminaries like Manny Ramirez, Rasheed Wallace, Bartolo Colon, segway Ronaldo and John Daly (albeit, more of a degenerate).

China Klay is ready for prime time.

Klay has been in China for most of the past two weeks doing promo for Anta, who just signed him to a new sneaker deal. Lots of athletes do these sneaker tours, but few have experienced life quite as honestly or as publicly as he did.

The missed dunk, which went viral after Klay ate too much Dim Sum and tried to play above the rim, kicked off a whirlwind series of events that were lovingly chronicled by social media users. I have no idea in what sequence any of these things happened in real life, but that’s beside the point. What would any of us do on a whirlwind tour of China but play basketball and eat? 

It starts to mean more when you consider the metaphor. China Klay is the patron saint of everyone enjoying their mid-to-late 20s with enough self-awareness to understand that we’re all slightly washed. The key, as a wise person once said, is to just lean into it.

Klay had the time of his life. Part of that is just letting go. It’s the secret to everything.

Anyway, enough with the rhetoric. Who among us?

Stop what you’re doing, do a search on Google and buy one of those cool Warriors Chinese New Year jerseys. Because China Klay is your favorite player now (and forever). Here’s to next summer.

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