OAKLAND – The wait is over. Klay Thompson has, by vote of coaches, been selected to the Western Conference All-Star team roster.
Official word came Thursday afternoon that the fourth-year Warriors shooting guard will join teammate Stephen Curry for the game scheduled for Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
[RELATED: Thompson named to Western Conference All-Star team]
Though Thompson's addition as a reserve is not a surprise, he was limited to speculating late Thursday morning, prior to the team's flight to Salt Lake City for a game against the Utah Jazz on Friday.
"It would mean a lot," he said after practice. "Just because it would be a big reward for all the hard work I've been putting in. And it's cool just to have label 'NBA All-Star.' It means you're one of the elite in the world. It's a dream come true."
Whereas Curry led all vote-getters to line up his second trip to the All-Star Game, Thompson finished sixth in the fan voting. He ranks seventh in the NBA in scoring, averaging 23.0 points per game but is tied for second in points per 48 minutes at 33.9 per game. He's third in 3-pointers made (138) and third in 3-point shooting percentage (45.6).
[NEWS: Curry overtakes LeBron, receives most All-Star votes in NBA]
But with so many terrific guards in the conference, there was some concern whether he would be selected. Thompson was competing with James Harden of the Rockets, Damian Lillard of the Trail Blazers, Chris Paul of the Clippers, and Russell Westbrook of the Thunder.
The logjam loosened a bit when Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who was voted in alongside Curry, last week sustained a torn rotator cuff that required surgery, opening up another guard spot.
[RELATED: Kobe set for shoulder surgery, season likely over]
The likelihood of Thompson, who has won three Player of the Week awards through the first half of the season, being snubbed shrunk by the day.
In addition to Curry and Thompson, the West backcourt will feature Harden, Westbrook and Paul. Lillard is the notable snub – though that could be rectified when commissioner Adam Silver selects a replacement for Bryant. No doubt Lillard is on his radar.
"For me it would mean the hard work is paying off and I've been doing something right and I've just got to continue to keep working," Thompson said.
"I'm excited. It's a big day for the NBA. It would be something to be proud of myself for because it would mean the hard work is paying off."
[POOLE: Report: Curry, Klay to participate in 3-point contest]
Thompson said he planned to watch the official announcement late Thursday afternoon from Salt Lake City.
"I watch every year," he said. "It's cool to see guys get rewarded. This year I'll be watching a little closer."
He'll like what he sees.