Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors don’t have anything to be worried about regarding LeBron James’ decision to take his talent to the Western Conference and play for the Los Angeles Lakers. After winning back-to-back NBA titles, the Warriors have retained their core of Stephen Curry, Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green. Despite being buried deep in luxury tax hell, the Warriors still managed to upgrade their roster with the acquisition of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in the recent free agency.
Unlike in his stint with the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he played alongside other NBA superstars like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving, LeBron James is currently surrounded by young players and veterans whose fit with him remains a big question. However, for Los Angeles native Klay Thompson, seeing James wearing the purple and gold is “pretty cool.”
The Lakers have yet to reach the level of the Warriors, but Klay Thompson believes LeBron James will “greatly improve” the Lakers in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.
“I expect him to greatly improve the Lakers and they’ve obviously got a bunch of guys who are proven now. So I just expect it to be intense. Any time you play against arguably the best player in the world, no matter what sport, you want to measure yourself against him so you play as hard as you can, and that’s why guys like Steph [Curry], KD [Kevin Durant], Kobe [Bryant], LeBron, James Harden, any [top] guys face their opponent’s best game every night, so it will be no different when we play the Lakers.”
Klay Thompson erupted for a huge first quarter against Kings in Seattle https://t.co/rsqoIDx7pZ— Warriors Wire (@TheWarriorsWire) October 6, 2018
Having faced LeBron James in the NBA Finals for four straight years, Klay Thompson is definitely aware of what he’s capable of doing. At 33, James has not shown any sign of slowing down. In the 82 games he played with the Cavaliers last season, James averaged 27.5 points, 9.1 assists, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals on 54.2 percent shooting from the field, and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc.
After finally acquiring a legitimate NBA superstar, the first since Kobe Bryant, the Lakers are expected to end their playoff drought in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season. However, some of their young players, like Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart, need to step up to help the Lakers make a deep playoff run in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the only thing the Warriors need to do to have a strong chance of winning their third consecutive NBA championship is to remain healthy throughout the season and wait for DeMarcus Cousins to return.