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Thompson's confidence riding high
By Bi Yu

Thompson Media DayOakland, Calif. 10/5/14 -- Klay Thompson made a huge impression this summer at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, as he helped Team USA win a gold medal. Thompson came of the bench, but was still the team's second leading scorer at 12.7 ppg., playing 23 minutes a game. His impact on an international level has catapulted his confidence as he starts his fourth NBA season for Golden State.

"I'm at an all-time high right now in confidence, cause if I can do it with Team USA and be a key factor on a team with some of the best players in the world; I know that I can be one of the go-to guys on this (Warriors) team, if I just keep working," Thompson stated.

Klay also had the luxury of playing with teammate Stephen Curry in Spain; these two players are expected to lead Golden State further in the playoffs this season. Thompson was a quick study of USA Coach Krzyzewski and his staff, learning the intangibles of what it takes to create a supportive team atmosphere and win a championship.

"What I'm taking away from Team USA is really not even about basketball... What I've learned from Coach K and the rest of the coaching staff is how to be a team. How to be a better team… How to develop chemistry amongst each other... And just be a man and look each other in the eye and tell the truth."

The truth is the Warriors have won 47 and 51 games over the past two seasons. However this wasn't good enough for ownership who replaced Coach Mark Jackson with rookie Coach Steve Kerr after Golden State bowed out to the Clippers in the first round of last year's playoff. There may have been a feeling of regression after they made it to the playoffs second round before losing to the Spurs the previous year.

Curry Thompson Gold MedalWith Golden State's player core returning to complement the new coaching regime, expectations are high in the Bay Area. Thompson understands this, and he understands that he is one of the main arteries to pump championship life into the Warriors. He is a major offensive contributor averaging 18.7 ppg last season, but he is arguably the teams' best defender. He takes pride in his defensive prowess.

"I've guarded some of the best players in the world as far as Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, James Harden. I've guarded those guys in the regular season a lot and the playoffs," Thompson acknowledges.

The 6-7 wingman from Washington State has the confidence to meet those expectations. Even with all his growth and experiences, he knows it still takes hard work to reach championship caliber.

When asked what he needs to do to get over the playoff hump, he replied, "Individually for me, is to play both ends of the floor. Play as hard as I can. If I do that, I know if I have that mind set to be successful. I feel like my efficiency was better last year,but I think I have so much more to grow. "

After winning the gold this summer, Thompson is ardent in his focus. "I got one goal and that’s the NBA Championship. I feel like that should be every teams goal."




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