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Klay Thompson details ‘mutual respect’ with Luka Doncic over joining Mavericks

By meerna Jul10,2024
Klay Thompson details ‘mutual respect’ with Luka Doncic over joining Mavericks

Luka Doncic was busy playing for the Slovenian national team when the Dallas Mavericks acquired Klay Thompson in a six-team sign-and-trade deal. The star guard was excited that his NBA team had acquired a talented scorer like Thompson.

Doncic and Thompson exchanged messages after the decision was made for Thompson to leave the Golden State Warriors for Dallas, and Thompson already feels a sense of “mutual respect” with the Slovenian superstar.

“He texted me and said he was excited, and I texted him back,” Thompson said. “I think there’s definitely mutual respect there.”

Luka Doncic, Klay Thompson

Mar 22, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) in action during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

During the Warriors’ run to the 2022 NBA Finals, Thompson faced Doncic in the Western Conference Finals, providing a glimpse of what Doncic could become, and the two exchanged on-court remarks after the Mavericks were eliminated.

“I remember seeing him at the end of the 2022 Western Finals,” Thompson explained. “I told him how much I loved his game and how he really lifted up his teammates and the sky was the limit with his skills, and I think that resonated with him, and he was really gracious in the face of defeat.”

Thompson is confident he and Doncic will bring out the best in each other. “I just appreciate someone who is not afraid of the moment and fights until the end, and Luka fits that description,” he added. “I think we’re going to be able to bring out the best in each other. I really do.”

While watching this year’s NBA Finals, Thompson saw playing with Doncic and the Mavericks as a great opportunity to help a team with a young, talented player reach the next level.

“I watched it as a basketball fan. I saw something like, ‘Man, I could really help this team.’ They’re right there. Maybe they’re a few things away. They’re not huge changes, but they’re really small changes that you have to make to get to the top.”

Thompson sees some similarities to Dirk Nowitzki’s path to becoming a champion with Doncic. Nowitzki lost in the 2006 NBA Finals and then won in 2011. With Thompson on the roster, he’s certainly confident the path to becoming a champion will be quicker.

“Dirk went through it in his first Finals, and Luka went through it too,” Thompson said. “We’re knocking on the door, and that’s what really, really excited me to be here.”

With Kyrie Irving on defense, who Thompson has faced in numerous Finals, there will be an interesting opportunity to utilize three electrifying talents and lead the team to its second championship in franchise history.

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By meerna

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