Last season, even earlier this year, Warriors second-year guard Klay Thompson never visited the training room.
THOMPSON: “I thought I was invincible. I’m thinking, ‘I’m 22, 23. I’m not getting tired.’ But, boy, I was wrong.”
Now, Thompson gets stretched before games. He’s more diligent about eating right and getting his sleep to fend off the soreness and fatigue. His youthful façade of invincibility has been shattered by big minutes in meaningful NBA games.
Don’t get him wrong, he loves it. When told he’s played the second-most minutes in the NBA since the All-Star break, his face lit up like he got a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas.
THOMPSON: “That’s awesome.“That’s gotta be the best stat I’ve heard in a long time.”
Thompson, a gym rat by nature, said he’s longed for the day he’d transition from promising reserve to a must-have-on-the-court starter. Sure, he’s so high on the minutes list because the Warriors have played more games than any team since the break. But he’s still experiencing, for the first time, the grind of being on a winning team in the NBA.
And guess who is the only player who’s played more minutes than Thompson? Stephen Curry.