OAKLAND, Calif. — Klay Thompson was born in Los Angeles, watched his father, Mychal, play for the Lakers and spent his high school years in Southern California. He understands more than most just how much passion for the game there is in the area. As his Golden State Warriors get set for their first meeting with LeBron James and the new-look Lakers on Wednesday in Las Vegas, Thompson can appreciate just how big a deal it is that James will be calling Hollywood home for at least the next few years.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” Thompson said of seeing James in a Lakers jersey. “I don’t think you would have guessed it when he was with the Cavs when he started his rookie season, but it’s adding a ton of interest in the league, and the Lakers are about to get the usual media coverage that I was used to growing up.”
Having played against James and his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, in four straight NBA Finals, Thompson knows the intensity level will be ramped up now that the former league and Finals MVP is in the Western Conference.
“Well, the times we’ve seen him he’s always been at the top of the East during the Finals,” Thompson said. “And those games are always intense. 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