February 25, 2024

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Steph Curry and Klay Thompson on Chris Paul: ‘Every team CB has been in gets better’

Steph Curry and Klay Thompson on Chris Paul: ‘Every team CB has been in gets better’

Steph Curry and Klay Thompson compete in “The Match,” a golf event on TNT Thursday night against Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes. Leading up to it, Thompson was asked about being part of the Golden State Warriors team with great golfers like Curry and Andre Iguodala.

“At least now we have Chris Paul,” Thompson said. “I know Chris can be a double-digit handicap. When he joined our team, I said to him, ‘Finally I can beat anyone on the links.’ Andre and Steve are on a different level.”

This comment opened the door to a quick conversation about Paul’s move. I asked Thompson and Curry about last week’s high-profile move to trade Jordan Paul to the Wizards for Paul and about new general manager, Mike Donleavy Jr., greenlighting the move during his first official week on the job. Here is our quick discussion.


Clay, I opened the door for this. What do you think of Chris Paul’s move? You mentioned he’s your new teammate. What do you think that?

Thompson: Anytime you play with one of the best players of your generation, it’s an honor. It’s a little strange because we’ve had so many fights in the past with Chris, and he’s captained several teams that almost got us fired or kicked out in 2014. I think he’ll add such a calm presence and leadership that we need. I know Steve and him have a long history together from North Carolina. For me, it will be a smooth transition playing with such an arcade and game maker, I’m just excited.

Steve?

curry: same. Crazy work. We all know that. If you asked us six months ago if this was something that could happen, the answer would likely be no based on where we were. Then you get to summer and you try to find ways to improve and put yourself in a position to chase another championship. Every team CP works with gets better. That’s the most consistent thing about him and who he is and what he brings to the team. Everyone will talk about age. We have to put it all together and figure out how all the pieces work.

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You hate losing JP. I know it’s not completely official yet. So I don’t want to talk too much before that. But that’s the hard part of the job, seeing a young man come on his own (and then get traded). It’s a great opportunity for him. All you have to do is get to know someone like that, build a friendship, and build a bond. It’s hard to see him go. But, you know, we’re trying to win next year and CP can help us do that.

You guys are working with a new GM for the first time in a long time. I’m curious to hear your early thoughts on working with Dunleavy Jr.

Thompson: Well, I love Mike Dunleavy. I grew up watching Mike’s play in Portland at Jesuit High School. For him to be a McDonald’s (All-American) and then go to Duke and then go to A-League, it was a huge deal for Oregon. We haven’t had many guys do that. Now to work with him, that’s crazy. The world is very small. Especially in the world of basketball. Now, he’s technically my boss after being kind of a big brother growing up, going over to his house, having him throw us in the pool and that garbage. Now working with him is crazy. I know Mike will do great things.

Steve, I’m not sure, you’re old. Did you play with him? Is this your age, brother?

curry: The days were bad my junior year but it wasn’t that bad, when he was here.

I played against him at least.

curry: play against him. Two years, I think, before he quit. But it will be fun. Moving is always hard. Change is hard. Especially in this league with so much at stake. But I’ve loved the conversations I’ve had with him so far, and how committed and convinced he is of ideas. Now it comes down to going and implementing it. That will reveal over time how we put it together for the big picture, chasing the championship now and trying to win now and the decisions that come down the road.

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(Photo by Steve Curry and Chris Paul: Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)