Devin Booker loves and admires Klay Thompson, but that doesn’t excuse him from being competitive after their verbal fight led to the expulsion of the Golden State Warriors guard from Tuesday’s game.
Booker scored 34 points when the Phoenix Suns won 134-105 over the Warriors, with Thompson sent off for the first time in his career during a hot third quarter between two of the Western Conference’s top contenders at the Footprint Center.
Thompson was ejected from the game after consecutive technical fouls, instigated by a heated exchange with Booker that lasted several minutes.
The pair bumped into the chest and exchanged words, leading to a double technique for both players, but Thompson broke out during a timeout that followed and was sent off after yelling at the referees, despite being held back by Stephen. Curry and assistant coach Chris DeMarco.
“I love Klay Thompson,” Booker told ESPN during his post-game on-pitch interview. “I have from the very beginning, from the upcoming project, I said I wanted to be Klay Thompson.
“But that doesn’t excuse us from competing against each other and talking a little bit of trouble between us. I enjoyed it. I’m a huge fan of his competitive nature and that’s it.”
When asked at the press conference what Thompson had said to Booker, he said, “They have four rings. Repeated over and over. And they do.”
Thompson only scored two points out of one of eight, with that bubbling frustration, while Booker kept his composure to some degree. The Warriors guard was still yelling at the Suns bench as he was turned away after his expulsion.
“He was having a rough night,” Booker said. “I think it all plays into her frustration. I’ve been there before.
“You know what they have, they have the four rings, they will use it in all trash talk, rightfully, respectfully. But that has nothing to do with competition.
“I have always admired his game, how he plays on both sides of the ball and of course the rings speak for themselves. As I said, I will carry him every time.”
Thompson’s dismissal comes in a slow start to the season for the five-time All-Star shooting guard, averaging 14.0 points on 40.5% of field shots, while making eight of 28 three-point attempts. to 34.8%. .
Warriors manager Steve Kerr understood Thompson’s frustration but tried to offer perspective to his frustrated four-time NBA champion.
“One thing I will remind Klay, he had a lot of slow beginnings in his career,” Kerr said. “I remember several years ago when he really fought for the three-point line in his first four or five games.
“Klay cares so much about the game, its impact on our team. He wants it so badly and he’s trying to force everything right now. He’s trying too hard. I’ll remind him.”