Steph, Klay’s effortless chemistry a rarity in modern NBA originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
They’ve been Warriors teammates for 10 seasons, locker mates for most of that time. Their lifestyles contrast, one a family man, the other a relatively carefree bachelor. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson don’t have a lot in common.
But what they do share is priceless, and they seem to know it.
“A lot of it is just our personalities,” Curry said Saturday after the Warriors’ blowout win over the Detroit Pistons at Chase Center. “We really love the game. We love and appreciate what we both — Draymond [Green] included — what we all bring to the equation, how different we all are.
“But we have the same common goal of just trying to win. And we’ve all found an identity in that, an appreciation of just who we are as people too. It all kind of blends in together.”
The Curry-Thompson chemistry was visible Saturday night, when Thompson conducted a postgame interview (to use the word lightly) with Curry after Golden State crushed Detroit.
Sidelined in the wake of surgery on his Achilles’ tendon, Thompson was on site as a temporary correspondent for NBC Sports Bay Area. He spent a quarter with announcers Bob Fitzgerald and Kelenna Azubuike and then got the prime assignment to interview Curry.
They were giggling before a question was asked.
Thompson: “Steph, what’s going on man? I haven’t seen you in a while.”
Curry, laughing: “What’s up, my guy?”
When Thompson asked Curry about being blindsided and hit in the head by a pass from Draymond Green — a funny sight indeed — Curry replied by saying it happens with the high volume of passes the Warriors make. Thompson agreed.
“We call that ‘ball-headed,’ ” Curry said. “I’ve got ‘Spalding’ right here on the side of my forehead.”
They went on for another minute or so, with Thompson asking Curry to predict when he’ll surpass Ray Allen and become the all-time leader in making 3-pointers. Thompson also asked Curry which of their fathers is the better color commentator, Dell Curry with the Charlotte Hornets or Mychal Thompson with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Told Saturday was Mychal’s birthday, Curry shouted out a “Happy Birthday” but chose his dad, to the mock disgust of Thompson, who yanked off his headset and stalked down the stairs … to first bump Curry as he left the court.
They never stopped smiling, except to laugh, and then they walked side by side toward the locker room.
This is not Kyrie Irving and LeBron James winning a championship in Cleveland and having an uncomfortable breakup one year later. It’s not James Harden and the revolving door of stars the Houston Rockets brought in, seeking and failing to find the right complement. This isn’t the sometimes uneasy alliance of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in Philadelphia, or the Chris Paul-Blake Griffin dynamic that led to the unraveling of the Los Angeles Clippers a few years ago.
Curry and Thompson are more like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen — but with a significantly heavier accent on humor. As in frequently.
“I don’t think he knows how funny he is,” Curry, the team’s No. 1 prankster, said of his fellow Splash Brother. “That’s the best part about it. It’s just who he is. He’s not even trying.”
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All of this joy comes easier with the success the Warriors have had and the roles Curry and Thompson played in it. Curry is a six-time All-Star, and Thompson has made five All-Star teams. They went to five consecutive NBA Finals, winning three.
And neither has thrown subtle shade at the other, much less tried to force a breakup.
“We do get sick of each other at times,” Curry conceded. “And it’s nice to get away and all that normal healthy-relationship type stuff.
“But at the end of the day, that’s the chemistry that we built and the identity that we built over those many years. And when you win at the highest level, obviously, they only get stronger. I feel blessed to have that vibe and then bring other guys into the fold that can kind of live that out, too. It’s pretty awesome.”