OAKLAND — The “Splash Brothers” returned to the Warriors’ practice facility from Spain for the first time Friday afternoon, decked out in new pieces of jewelry.
Fresh off their win for the United States against Serbia in the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson sported smiles and gold medals as they talked with the media Friday.
Curry shared how special it was to win the Basketball World Cup, especially with his Golden State teammate:
“Not many people have one of these, so to be a part of the 12 guys we got the job done with and the coaching staff was definitely special. (I’m) happy to do it together (with Klay) with how well we know each other and play together here with the Warriors and take it to a whole new experience with team USA.”
Curry started all nine games for the US and averaged 10.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists for the tournament. But he wasn’t the most impressive Warrior, as Thompson opened a lot of eyes with strong play throughout the tournament.
Thompson averaged 12.7 points — the second highest on the team — while adding 2.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He clearly earned coach Mike Krzyzewski’s respect as the coach applauded Klay’s defensive efforts in the tournament. It showed on the court as Thompson played the second-most minutes on the U.S. roster.
Thompson was low key about his breakout tournament:
“I think it was just good, I got to play for my country and play with 11 great guys, I could take something from their games and I feel like I just got better because I got to compete against these dudes everyday from Vegas, everyday in practice everyone goes hard.”
But his backcourt mate was there to pump him up, as Curry was more bullish on Thompson’s play in Spain:
“He killed, he had a great summer, he definitely took his game to another level, you played well man.”
His play went a long way to reinforce what Curry has been saying the last few years, that he has one of the best shooting guards in the league playing next to him:
“I’d put him against anybody, you saw what he did this summer and where he’s taken his game the past three years, you can do whatever kind of ranking scale, he’s proven that it’s not just talk, that he definitely impacts on both ends of the floor and knows how to play the game and we’re lucky to have him.”
Though he was happy to win a gold medal, Klay said just being a part of the World Cup team was what he will remember:
“It’s good to be home, but I mean when you look back on it, every city was a great time, we got to do something I never thought I’d do. … It was just fun, traveling the world and hooping, something you wouldn’t have thought you’d be doing 10 years ago.”
Both Curry and Thompson said that it was an experience to see how many people in other countries supported the different teams, especially the Warriors.
Curry even said the first jersey he saw was a Warriors jersey:
“It was pretty cool to walk in from the hotel to the bus and seeing Warriors jerseys. I know when we got to Madrid the first jersey I saw was a guy holding Klay’s over the fence, and Klay went over and signed it. You just sit back and think where you are and people know you and support you and want to watch you play basketball, that’s pretty crazy.”
Now that the Warriors’ starting back court has returned to the United States, they have only nine days to rest up before training camp officially begins. The rest is welcome relief for the taxed duo as they recover from playing nine games in 15 days.
Curry said that he is running on fumes and needs some recuperation:
“The last two days I don’t know what time zone I’m in, or what time it is, (I’m) just running off adrenaline and happy to be home and see my family, that’s what’s keeping me up.”