To make one thing clear before we get too far into this article, let me just say that Klay Thompson is not Kobe Bryant. I repeat KLAY THOMPSON IS NOT KOBE BRYANT. Now that we have that cleared up, let’s talk about why Klay Thompson’s phenomenal 60 point performance was over before it started. As a fan, I wanted to see Klay go off for as many points as possible. I think we all can agree that 100 points in a game by Wilt will never be matched or topped (although Klay was on pace to get 100) so the next logical performance to try and top is Kobe’s 81.
Kobe’s performance was in 42 minutes on 46 FG attempts with 18 points coming from the charity strike. Klay had 33 FG attempts, 10 points coming from the charity strike and took 29 minutes to achieve these numbers. Klay also had the ball in his hands for a total of 90 seconds and dribbled 11 times. 11 times. That stat in itself says enough about how scary this team can be.
Klay was in a zone; it was almost inhuman what he was doing. So the question is, why not let him play the fourth and see what happens? After all you don’t get to see history made every night, right? Wrong. Last season ruined this night for Klay Thompson. Last season for the Golden State Warriors was all about chasing history. Steve Kerr didn’t rest players at the end of the year chasing that 73-9 record. It was on the forefront of every interview throughout the season and the whole organization from coaching staff to the players acknowledged the importance of chasing history and 73.
Then with a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals they were all but anointed as the best team in NBA history. All they had was one more win, and they would be known as the best team in NBA history. We all know what happened next. LeBron, Kyrie, and company ruined the party. LeBron, who is chasing history himself (trying to be the best player of all time) ruined the ability for the Warriors to be known as the best team in history, with one of the best comebacks in sports history. One word comes up over and over again: history. The “historical” season achieved last season by the Warriors was the roadblock in the way of Klay Thompson’s highway to 81.
Steve Kerr and the Warriors are done chasing history and having historical nights. They went out and signed Kevin Durant, all before Cleveland could clean up all the confetti from a parade that had been long awaited for 52 years. Here we go again: “Could this be the best team in NBA history?” “It isn’t fair,” “Give them the trophy now.” Last year similar phrases rang out all around this team when they started 24-0 then going 39-4 without Kerr at the realm. Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors spent all last season chasing history, testing their luck, and tempting the “basketball gods.” Kerr has been a part of the two of best regular season records in history, the ’96 Bulls and last years Warriors. The only difference was one of those teams had the best player of all time on it and won a championship, and the other didn’t and became the first team in NBA history to blow a 3-1 lead in the Finals.
Steve Kerr is done testing his luck, or disrupting the apple cart of the basketball gods. Look for Kerr and the Warriors to become more Spurs like: resting players, not caring about records or history, and understanding that only one thing matters at the end of the year and that is raising the Larry O’Brien trophy. So while Klay Thompson showed us how fun this team can be, how much talent they have, how much history could be made, we won’t see any of that in its fullest form. And we can thank last seasons 73 wins and the Cleveland Cavaliers for that.