OAKLAND, Calif. — Klay Thompson was born in Los Angeles, watched his father, Mychal, play for the Lakers and spent his highschool years within the Southern California space. He understands greater than most simply how a lot ardour for the sport there’s within the space. As his Golden State Warriors get set for his or her first assembly with LeBron James and the brand new look Lakers on Wednesday in Las Vegas, Thompson can admire simply how huge a deal it’s that James can be calling Hollywood house for no less than the following few years.
“I believe it is fairly cool,” Thompson stated of seeing James in a Lakers jersey. “I do not suppose you’d have guessed it when he was with the Cavs when he began his rookie season however it’s including a ton of curiosity within the league, and the Lakers are about to get the same old media protection that I used to be used to rising up.”
Having performed towards James and his former workforce, the Cavaliers, in 4 straight NBA Finals, Thompson is aware of the depth degree can be ramped up now having the previous MVP within the Western Convention.
“Properly the instances we have seen him he is at all times been on the high of the East in the course of the Finals,” Thompson stated. “And people video games are at all times intense. I count on him to drastically enhance the Lakers and so they’ve clearly acquired a bunch of fellows who’re confirmed now. So I simply count on it to be intense. Any time you play towards arguably the perfect participant on this planet, it doesn’t matter what sport, you wish to measure your self towards him so that you play as exhausting as you may, and that is why guys like Steph, KD, Kobe, LeBron, James Harden, any [top] guys face their opponent’s finest sport each evening, so it will likely be no totally different once we play the Lakers.”
Each Thompson and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr are wanting ahead to the budding rivalry between the Lakers and Warriors this season, particularly with James within the fold.
“That is most likely the primary time it is lined up,” Kerr stated after Tuesday’s apply. “Did Sleepy Floyd get his 29 towards the Lakers in a single quarter? That might most likely be the largest second. So for Warriors followers that is most likely the largest second of the Laker/Warrior rivalry. I am certain the Lakers by no means actually checked out it as a rivalry all these years after they had been dominating, however this can be enjoyable. We’re in the identical division, clearly each groups have a number of expertise and the ambiance goes to be nice. Even within the preseason, I believe persons are going to be actually wanting ahead to it.”
Thompson believes the rivalry between Northern California and Southern California will solely develop now with the Warriors coming off two titles and James anticipated to elevate the Lakers again to prominence.
“Bay-LA in any sport is at all times nice,” Thompson stated. “It is going to undoubtedly carry over to basketball, that is for certain.”
Thompson stated he is been having the NorCal/SoCal debate with associates for years.
“The music, artwork, films, vacation spot,” Thompson stated. “There’s at all times a NorCal/SoCal debate and that is what makes it so nice … highschool sports activities, professional sports activities, musicians, athletes, we at all times had a debate the place the expertise was at.”
After Wednesday’s sport in Vegas, the Warriors and Lakers face off towards one another once more on Friday in San Jose. Their first common season matchup is on Christmas evening at Oracle Area. Kerr is aware of the feelings in all of the arenas can be charged up when the groups face one another.
“Staples is a distinct vibe,” he stated “It is not like an Oklahoma Metropolis or a Salt Lake the place it is simply noise and depth. It is extra like, ‘Man, that is the cool place to be in LA tonight.’ Clearly it has been a really star pushed franchise. So for them to have LeBron makes Staples the place to be and you may really feel that vibe, we’ll really feel that vibe as a visiting workforce once we’re in there. I look ahead to it.”
“Draymond’s not going to play [Wednesday],” Kerr stated. “We will be cautious. He is nonetheless bettering however we really feel comfy giving him yet one more day … after which we have got six days ’til the opener so the plan is to begin apply and play him on Friday and he’ll be prepared for the opener.”