OAKLAND -– His post-practice routine at the Warriors facility unfolds on the other court, the one at the opposite end from where the back-to-back MVP shoots and dribbles and shouts and usually punctuates his session with a dunk.
Klay Thompson goes about his work quietly, with little dribbling and practically no dunking. He shoots. And shoots. And shoots. And shoots.
And he shoots some more, almost always from a place beyond the 3-point arc.
Yet Thompson’s net snaps every bit as often as that of his more celebrated teammate, two-time MVP Stephen Curry. That was particularly true during the four-day training camp that concluded Friday afternoon, when the Warriors boarded a flight to Vancouver for their preseason opener on Saturday against the Toronto Raptors.
Thompson, by the accounts of those who observed him during the week, is locked in and ready to play.
“I think I’ve seen Klay miss, like, three shots all week,” new Warriors forward-center David West marveled on Friday. “I didn’t realize he was so smooth. I know Steph gets a lot of the attention, but Klay is automatic.”
Coach Steve Kerr noted the difference between Thompson in this camp versus the man who arrived at camp last September.
“He was in poor shape last year in camp, got off to a slow start in the regular season,” Kerr said. “So, I went up to him (Thursday) and said, ‘Man, you look like you’re in really good shape, much better than last year. And he said, 'Shout out to the Olympic team.’
“That had a lot to do with it. He was able to get in shape over the summer, play some games and then take the last month to rest. He looks great.”
Thompson last season exceeded 20 points only twice in the first 19 games, and shot better than 50 percent only twice during the first 16. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound shooting guard turned it around later, surpassing the 20-point mark eight times in December, while shooting 47.7 percent.
That was with a post-championship hangover that didn’t exist this summer. Between losing The Finals and spending five weeks preparing for and playing in the Olympics, Thompson’s edge is fairly sharp.
“It helped, the Olympics, so I didn’t get too out of shape when I went home,” Thompson said. “I’m ready to play.”
It doesn’t hurt that Thompson, whose history of usually shooting alone after practice, with staffers feeding him passes, has been joined on the far end of the court by one of his new teammates.
Guy named Kevin Durant.
“You try to shoot with the best of them and make each other better,” said Thompson, who often shot with Durant during Team USA workouts. “He’s got a beautiful jump shot. We both love to shoot, and love to see the ball go in.
“I get to look (at one end) and watch Steph, and now I get to watch Kevin. It’s pretty surreal.”