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Klay Thompson Says He Doesn’t Regret Saying LeBron’s ‘Feelings Got Hurt’
- Updated: December 25, 2016
The controversial comments made by Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson last June about LeBron James following the pivotal suspension of the Warriors’ Draymond Green last June have once again become news. They’ve resurfaced on the eve of the Christmas Day matchup between the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, the first game between the two teams since their classic seven-game NBA Finals series last June.
The aftermath of Thompson’s remarks resulted in the Cavaliers becoming the first NBA team ever to rebound from a 3-1 deficit in the finals. Despite that fact, he remains defiant that they didn’t serve as a spark for Cleveland to achieve history.
“I don’t think LeBron really went to sleep, pinned that up and used that for motivation. But if he did, it’s all right,” Thompson said to ESPN. “We still had three opportunities to close it out, and we didn’t. So, I don’t think that was the game-changer.”
“At the end of the day, you have to go out there and do it on the court,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what was said. We lost. We moved on. We’re excited about this year.”
Thompson said he’d do the same thing again if given the opportunity:
“I’m just going to answer the question, say what’s on my mind,” Thompson said. “We already have so much of a filter on us as athletes. There’s no point to be extra careful. Then it’s an entertainment biz, so I’m going to say what’s on my mind at the time. When the question is presented, just answer it. It’s really that simple.”
Green’s Game 5 suspension came after he had punched at James’ groin during the closing moments of Golden State’s 108-97 victory in Game 4. The two players had to be physically restrained from attacking each other, and after the contest, it was discovered that James’ anger came after Green referred to him as “a bitch.”
Once Green’s suspension was announced, Thompson ridiculed James’ postgame complaints:
“I’ve heard a lot of bad things on that court, but at the end of the day, it stays on the court,” Thompson said. “Obviously people have feelings. People’s feelings get hurt if they’re called a bad word. I guess his feelings just got hurt.”
Following Thompson’s comments, James publicly spoke only about the difficulty in taking the high road. However, he was outraged about a tweet from then-Warriors reserve Marreese Speights, who used a baby bottle emoji to taunt James.
One of James’ teammates noted how he was angered by the fact that a reserve would make such a reference.
“The nerve of this guy. Who the f— is he? The 12th man?” said the player who spoke to ESPN anonymously. “That was some b——-.”
Whether or not such comments motivated James, his numbers in those final three games say it all:
Game 5: 41 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists
Game 6: 41 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists
Game 7: 27 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists
The wins in those final three games gave the Cavaliers the franchise’s first-ever title and spoiled the record-setting 73-9 regular season of the Warriors.
With both teams again having the best records in their respective conferences, Thompson is looking forward to Sunday’s game:
“Definitely,” he said. “They’re the best team in the East, and we’re the best team in the West. We’re both fighting for that homecourt through the playoffs, so it obviously means something. It’s always good to play the best teams in the league and see where you’re at.”