I don’t understand why he was pulled. I mean, I do but I don’t. At some point, we have to let athletes chase history. At some point, we have to throw sportsmanship out the window and try to set a record. I don’t care if people get mad, I don’t care if it’s a bad look, I don’t care if it sends the wrong message. We have to stop being so polite and start being cooler. People want to see accomplishments. They want to see history made.
Steve Kerr pulling Klay Thompson was strictly because of sportsmanship. I understand it’s a long season and I understand the importance of rest. But I don’t think another 15 minutes on the floor would’ve killed Klay. I don’t think it would have somehow set him back and made him less durable down the line. They could’ve kept feeding him the ball and seen if he could have broken Kobe’s 81 points, or even came close to 100. Topping 81 would have been very reasonable.
I personally believe Klay was pulled for sportsmanship. He was not pulled for rest or anything like that. Kerr did not want to run up the score. However, if I was Klay Thompson, I would’ve asked the coach to keep me in. I would’ve begged to have stayed in. I would have lobbied to chase history.
As special as setting the 3 point record for most in a game is, it still could’ve been more. If you have a player going off at that clip, you have to let him ride. Just hand him the keys and let him finish the game. If he’s really THAT tired, then rest him the next game. I think the Warriors will be just fine.
Instead, a cool night was simply that. Cool. But it had the chance to be really special. Klay handled the postgame interview with class. Here’s what he said:
“That’s what I do this for is those moments that you share with your teammates,” Thompson said of celebrating the record with the rest of the Warriors.
“That’s why we play basketball. It’s a collective effort. And I don’t know if I would be able to break these records I have gotten in my past like tonight without the system I play in or the team I play with, the guys I play with.”
“It’s the best feeling in basketball or one of the best feelings in basketball when you touch the ball and feel like it’s going in every time,” Thompson said.
The Warriors cruised to a 149-124 win, finishing with 24 made 3-pointers, another franchise record.