The Warriors decided to poke fun at guard Klay Thompson after the five-time All-Star was left off the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team.
Ahead of Saturday's practice, a Thompson No. 77 jersey was placed in the guard's locker, alluding to the fact that Thompson was kept off the ceremonial team unveiled Thursday. (Due to a tie in the voting process, 76 players made the team.)
Warriors forward Draymond Green shared videos of the No. 77 jersey, including one in which Thompson was wearing it while walking around the weight room.
"Seventy-seventh best player of all time, baby!" Thompson said.
"Get the new jersey!" his backcourt mate Stephen Curry said. "New jersey alert."
"Maybe I'm just naive in my ability to play basketball, but in my head, I'm Top 75 all time," Thompson wrote on Instagram.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr agreed, saying ahead of the team's home opener against the Clippers on Thursday, "I definitely think both [Thompson and Green] are top 75, just based on winning and two-way basketball and everything that really matters more than statistics and anything related to numbers. What matters is if you're winning championships, and that's what counts. I would have hoped and thought that both guys would be on there."
Kerr said Saturday he was encouraged to see that Thompson could joke about the omission.
"You have to have humor with everything," Kerr said. "His teammates obviously got that done to have a laugh with him. But I think all these guys, they're so competitive by nature, they wouldn't have made it this far if they weren't really competitive. And at some point, guys latch on to things to drive them. Klay has accomplished pretty much everything. He's a multi-time champion, multi-time All-Star, one of the great three-point shooters ever. He's already competitive, but if that's what it takes to make him more competitive, then we'll take it."
Thompson has missed each of the past two seasons with injury—the 2019-20 season while rehabbing a torn ACL and last season while rehabbing a torn Achilles. He is expected back ahead of the All-Star break this year, but it's unclear when exactly he will return.
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