By Yama Hazheer
The same amount of head coaches as years played, potentially more teammates than wins, and several headaches on and off the court.
Welcome to the Bay, Jason Thompson.
Thompson was the selected 12th by the Sacramento Kings in the 2008 NBA Draft. Seven years later, he became their franchise leader in games played since the team moved to Sacramento. He was durable throughout his tenure with the Kings, but never once sniffed the postseason.
Instead, he had to deal with the constant issues and the lack of continuity.
“I haven’t been around much winning in this past 7 years with a lot of instability, with 7 coaches in 7 years and 180 teammates and things like that,” Thompson said. ”That doesn’t ever lead to winning.”
Thompson was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers this offseason. 21 days later, he was sent to play for the NBA Champs.
“I think of it as God’s plan for me to be here. I would have never guess that, being right down the highway being an hour and some change away, playing this team 4 times a year,” Thompson said. “But that’s going to make it that much sweeter when I play Sacramento this year.”
The Warriors traded veteran forward David Lee in exchange for Gerald Wallace for financial reasons. Bob Myers worked his magic again and was able to lure away Thompson for Wallace.
Thompson gives the Warriors a forward with more defensive ability than Lee had. He is also younger and has a smaller contract. Thompson has never dealt with major injury problems and has been able to play hard for the Kings, despite their losing ways.
Even through the Kings nearly moving cities during his rookie season, he kept his head in the game and was able to give them quality minutes. With all the other changes that took place, he never bashed to the team to the media. He never quit on them, either.
Although he hasn’t gone into deep discussion with Steve Kerr about what his role on the team will be, he knows exactly what he will aim to bring for the squad.
“I think I can stretch the floor, shoot the midrange, and read the defense. For me, I think I can come in and stretch the floor,” Thompson said. “Guys like Steph and Klay are going to react to the defense and things like that and there will be open looks for me.”
Thompson noted that the Warriors chemistry looked good to an outsider. He said that you could tell they had good vibes in their locker room. It’s not something that he is too familiar with.
He’s friends with Mo Speights and Andre Iguodala. He also has familiarity with other players on the team due to playing against them four times a season the past seven years.
“I think Jason’s going to help us a lot. He’s similar to Mo Speights and he’s going get a lot of good, open looks playing off of me and Steph,” Klay Thompson said. “He’s a good player. There’s a reason why he was with the same franchise for 7 years so we’re really excited to have him.”
Jason Thompson will have a different mindset heading into the season. With Sacramento, there was never the pressure of making the playoffs. They were outside of the bubble looking in every year. He now gets a chance to play for a team that is virtually a lock for the playoffs and considerable favorites to repeat as Champions.
This season will be the most exciting of his career.
“This is a championship team and talking to the guys, I know it wasn’t easy to happen and it’s even harder to repeat,” Thompson said. “I’m going to do everything in my power to be a great locker room guy and find ways to be able to produce for the team offensively and defensively.”
Myers hasn’t made many questionable moves during his tenure as General Manager, if any. Don’t look to add Jason Thompson on the board for that. His contributions will be essential to the Warriors this season, especially if a big gets hurt.
He’s never been used to winning in the NBA. 2015-16 will be a change for the lengthy veteran.