Warriors Notes: Klay, Kerr, Green, Reasons For Optimism

Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson remains highly motivated to win a fifth championship and to be named to his sixth All-Star game, per Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated. Thompson has been employing a very specific motivational keepsake to keep him inspired.

According to Beck, the 6’6″ swingman uses a San Francisco Chronicle newspaper clip taped above his locker, listing the only 26 players in league history to have more championship rings than him, to galvanize his efforts.

Thompson, in his first full season back with Golden State following injuries to his Achilles and ACL, has been taking a more relaxed approach to his career going forward.

“I’m way more Zen,” Thompson told Beck of his approach this year. “I’m just appreciative of playing early in the season and being healthy and competing and feeling great. Not having a fear of injury. I mean, we want our record to be as best as it can be, but that can change. … You could change that circumstance. When I was hurt, you couldn’t change a lot of things. So being able to actually do something about it—I got a whole new mindset of what I value and what not to care about.”

There’s more out of Golden State:

  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr acknowledged that the 2022 champs are struggling following a brutal 143-113 defeat at the hands of the Nets on Wednesday, albeit without three starters, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Golden State went 1-5 on its recent road trip. “You are what your record says you are,” Kerr said. “It was a bad road trip. We are 15-18, so we’re a below-.500 team, and we’ve got to find a way to reverse that.”
  • The Warriors grappled with mental health issues throughout their loss-heavy road trip, writes Andrews in a separate piece. “Right now, I think we are very fragile,” starting power forward Draymond Green remarked following a Friday practice. “You start going through these things and then you start believing them. Once you start believing them, it becomes who you are. The only way to break them is by being mentally tough.”
  • Though the Warriors do not seem to have recaptured their championship-winning magic just yet, there are reasons to believe the second half of the club’s 2022/23 season will be an improvement over the first, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “We understand what we need to do,” Green told Slater. “We also understand the circumstances. This won’t be the position we’re in for a long time, but it’s where we are right now. We’ve been a very good team at home. There will be a comfort for the guys. That’ll be helpful. Got to build momentum.” Kerr pointed to a miserable 0-5 road trip early in the season (Oct. 29 through Nov. 4) as the first sign of trouble this fall: “The whole trip was kind of a mess. We were trying new rotations, new guys. You can’t just say, ‘Oh, we screwed up in those five road games.’ You have to analyze what was happening. We weren’t where we needed to be. I felt like we were behind. We’ve been swimming upstream since. … If we’re 6-4 instead of 3-7, there’s a little bit more a sense of calm.”
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