'You still can't leave me open': Klay Thompson believes joining Mavericks 'can spur greatness,' speaks on leaving Warriors

Published July 10, 2024, 4:56 PMPao Ambat

Behind his championship pedigree and elite shooting, Klay Thompson is aiming to help the Dallas Mavericks get over the hump after coming up short in the NBA Finals last season.

Klay Thompson averaged 17.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists on 38.7% shooting from deep in his last season with the Warriors. | Photo (c) Dallas Mavericks

Even before joining the Dallas Mavericks, Klay Thompson remembers a moment with their superstar guard Luka Doncic. 


 Two years ago, Thompson and the Warriors–his home for 13 years– eliminated Doncic and the Mavericks in five games of the Western Conference finals before winning the 2022 title. 

Fast forward to 2024, and Klay will get a chance to share a court with Doncic. 

“He was real gracious in defeat,” Thompson said of Doncic in his first introductory news conference with the Mavs, alongside Naji Marshall and Quentin Grimes.


“I just appreciate someone who is not afraid of the moment and competes till the end. Luka fits that bill. I think we’ll be able to bring the best out of each other.”

They could be.

Other than longtime backcourt teammate Stephen Curry, who Thompson shared four titles with, Doncic is hands-down one of the best playmakers Thompson will play with.


And don’t forget Kyrie Irving, Thompson's 2011 draft classmate and two-time Team USA teammate who he shared great battles with in the past when Kyrie was still with the Cleveland Cavaliers. 


"I don't think you can stick to me as much as you could in the past with guys like Luka and Kai out there," Thompson said. 


 The Mavericks envision Thompson as an excellent complement to their star duo. 


 "At this point in my career, I mean, you still can't leave me open," Thompson said.

A 41.3% 3-point shooter who is sixth all-time in three-pointers made? The stats are there to back up Klay. 



 Watching the Mavericks lose to the Boston Celtics in five games in the NBA Finals last season had plenty to do with the veteran sharpshooter’s decision to join Dallas. 


 “I was watching just as a basketball fan, and I did see, like, ‘Man, I could really help this team. They’re right there,” Thompson revealed. 


“I know I can help this team, whether it’s the knowledge I’ve gained, or big, big scoring nights. I just still know I can be a very, very good player in this league.”



As one chapter opens, another has to close and that is Thompson’s historic run in the Bay Area. 


 The 34-year-old admitted "there were times last year it was tough where it wasn’t as joyful as it had been in the past" in Golden State and declared that the split was "necessary."


[ALSO READ: Sea Captain is out: Klay Thompson bids farewell to Warriors, Dub Nation]


 After being slowed by devastating ACL and Achilles injuries in recent seasons, Thompson believes that joining the Mavericks "can spur greatness."


"Whether you play basketball or work in the corporate world or whatever industry, sometimes change just can spur greatness," Thompson said.


"A new change of scenery can do wonders. I'm very grateful for my time at Golden State."


And a fresh start is waiting for him in Dallas, the reigning Western Conference champions.

“It’s nice to kind of shed that and have a whole new fresh start, whole new group of guys to get to know. A whole new city. It’s really cool. And I’m going to embrace the heck out of this opportunity.”

"I look forward to just kind of being rejuvenated here -- a lot of good basketball left in the tank."

Thompson will wear No. 31 for the Mavericks to honor Reggie Miller, his childhood inspiration.

Klay needs 80 3-pointers to pass Miller for fifth on the career list.

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