OAKLAND — The starters for the 64th NBA All-Star Game will be announced Thursday evening, but All-Star hopeful Klay Thompson is not spending too much time thinking about it.
“No, not really,” Thompson said after Thursday’s practice. “The only thing on my mind is finishing up this homestand strong.”
The Warriors are 2-0 so far, with wins over the Nuggets and Rockets, and host the Kings, Celtics and Bulls before All-Star reserves are announced next Thursday. There is a sense around the building that Thompson is a shoo-in, and if he were to be snubbed, you might find Draymond Green throwing grapes.
“Klay is going to be on the team. He has to be,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who earned the right to be an All-Star coach by leading the Warriors to a 34-6 record — tops in the Western Conference.
In his fourth year in the NBA, Thompson is filling up the stat sheet, and doing so while often drawing defensive responsibilities against the opponent’s top threat.
"I'm always going to feel like I deserve to go," Thompson said. "But it's more than that, especially when you've got the wins to back it up."
The 24-year-old sharpshooter is making 44.4 percent of his 3-pointers, good for fifth in the NBA. He’s averaging career-highs in points (21.9), assists (3.1), steals (1.3), blocks (0.9), 3-pointers made (3.0) and free-throws attempted (3.7), among other offensive categories -- and he’s doing it efficiently, playing fewer minutes than he has the past two seasons.
“I think this time around it’s not like you even have to argue it, or make a case,” said teammate Andre Iguodala, a former All-Star who has willingly accepted a role off the Warriors bench this year. “We’re in a position where our team has had some great success the first half of the year.
“I think we deserve two (All-Stars), if not three.”
GM Bob Myers agrees.
"I believe he's an All-Star. But the West is so good, it'll be interesting to see what happens," Myers said. "The coaches vote, and I guess you gotta put your faith in the coaches ... hopefully if our record continues, you'd have to think people would say 'Maybe we deserve a couple guys.'"
Thompson, one of the NBA’s top shooting guards, certainly deserves to be the Warriors' second representative. But a strong case can be made for both Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut to become the Warriors’ third All-Star.
It will all be up to the Western Conference coaches who vote for the reserves -- all of whom have seen up-close the impact made by Thompson, Green and Bogut.