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 large a deal it’s that James can be calling Hollywood dwelling for no less than the subsequent few years.
“I believe it is fairly cool,” Thompson mentioned of seeing James in a Lakers jersey. “I do not assume you’d have guessed it when he was with the Cavs when he began his rookie season but it surely’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 staff, the Cavaliers, in 4 straight NBA Finals, Thompson is aware of the depth stage can be ramped up now having the previous MVP within the Western Convention.
“Nicely the occasions we have seen him he is all the time been on the prime of the East in the course of the Finals,” Thompson mentioned. “And people video games are all the time intense. I anticipate him to significantly enhance the Lakers they usually’ve clearly bought a bunch of men who’re confirmed now. So I simply anticipate it to be intense. Any time you play towards arguably the perfect participant on the planet, it doesn’t matter what sport, you wish to measure your self towards him so that you play as laborious as you may, and that is why guys like Steph, KD, Kobe, LeBron, James Harden, any [top] guys face their opponent’s finest recreation each night time, so it will likely be no completely different after we play the Lakers.”
Each Thompson and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr are trying ahead to the budding rivalry between the Lakers and Warriors this season, particularly with James within the fold.
“That is in all probability the primary time it is lined up,” Kerr mentioned after Tuesday’s apply. “Did Sleepy Floyd get his 29 towards the Lakers in a single quarter? That may in all probability be the largest second. So for Warriors followers that is in all probability the largest second of the Laker/Warrior rivalry. I am positive the Lakers by no means actually checked out it as a rivalry all these years once they had been dominating, however this can be enjoyable. We’re in the identical division, clearly each groups have a variety of expertise and the ambiance goes to be nice. Even within the preseason, I believe persons are going to be actually trying 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 raise the Lakers again to prominence.
“Bay-LA in any sport is all the time nice,” Thompson mentioned. “It can undoubtedly carry over to basketball, that is for positive.”
Thompson mentioned he is been having the NorCal/SoCal debate with mates for years.
“The music, artwork, films, vacation spot,” Thompson mentioned. “There’s all the time a NorCal/SoCal debate and that is what makes it so nice … highschool sports activities, professional sports activities, musicians, athletes, we all the time had a debate the place the expertise was at.”
After Wednesday’s recreation 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 night time at Oracle Enviornment. Kerr is aware of the feelings in all of the arenas can be charged up when the groups face one another.
“Staples is a unique vibe,” he mentioned “It isn’t 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 staff after we’re in there. I look ahead to it.”
Warriors ahead Draymond Inexperienced won’t play in Wednesday’s recreation towards the Lakers as he continues to rehab a sore left knee.
“Draymond’s not going to play [Wednesday],” Kerr mentioned. “We will be cautious. He is nonetheless bettering however we really feel snug giving him yet another day … after which we have 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.”