An Olympic gold medal isn’t the only thing Klay Thompson left Rio with.
The Golden State Warriors shooting guard returned fresh as a daisy to the U.S., and to training camp, where he went shot for shot with new teammate Kevin Durant.
Head coach Steve Kerr couldn’t help but notice Thompson already appears to be in midseason form, telling him: “Man, you look like you’re in good shape, much better than last year.”
Thompson responded: “Shoutout to the Olympics,” according to Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News.
The 26-year-old All-Star represented America at the Summer Games alongside teammates Draymond Green and Durant, who joined Golden State only a month before.
The experience allowed for the trio to get a head start on developing on-court chemistry, while also keeping them in peak physical form.
“I didn’t get too out of shape,” said Thompson, who got off to a rocky start last season and dealt with back stiffness.
“Conditioning (was an issue),” Kerr said. “Then he hurt his back early in the season. Just wasn’t quite ready for the grind. I can see he’s in better shape this year. He’ll be good right away.”
And he has been. In the Dubs’ preseason opener versus the Toronto Raptors, Thompson finished with a game-high 16 points on 5-of-13 field-goal shooting and 4-of-11 from beyond the arc in 19 minutes.
In addition to continue shooting when he’s open, Thompson is entering his sixth campaign intent on going to the charity stripe more (he averaged 2.8 free throws last year) and upping his rebounding from 3.8 to five.
He’s drawing inspiration for the latter from his Splash Brother, Stephen Curry, who’s one of the top rebounding point guards with 5.4 per contest in 2015-16.
“I look at Steph, he’s … just so crafty,” Thompson said.
He’ll have an opportunity to work on that craftiness and build on his hot streak Tuesday at the Roaracle versus the Los Angeles Clippers.