Klay Thompson’s immediate reaction to having to face LeBron James and Lakers in next round

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson shared why he is excited to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the NBA Playoffs.

Golden State advanced to the second round after beating the Sacramento Kings in Game 7 on Sunday afternoon. The No. 6-seeded Warriors will now have home-court advantage in the second round against the No.7-seeded Lakers.

“It’s special,” Thompson said. “Play LeBron [James] in the Finals four times – obviously one of the greatest to ever play, and Anthony Davis is right there as well, played A.D. in the playoffs too, and they have – watching that last series against Memphis – it looks like they’re gelling.

“Their guys know their roles. The other guys besides those two. It’s going to be a huge challenge for us, but we’re all excited to play the Lakers. I mean, it’s a legendary franchise. Warriors-Lakers, it’s been a long time since they’ve seen each other in the playoffs. I know I’m personally excited. I get to play in front of my father and my mother and some of my best friends and go down to SoCal after our home stand. It’s just a dream come true. I’ve waited for this for 12 years.”

The Lakers knocked out the Memphis Grizzlies, the No. 2 seed in the West, in just six games in the first round. James, Davis, Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell all had games where they put up big numbers for the Lakers. Forward Rui Hachimura also had some strong showings early in the series off the bench.

Thompson’s father Mychal spent part of his NBA career with the Lakers, making this a special matchup for the Warriors star.

The younger Thompson has plenty of experience facing off with a James-led team, as he and the Warriors played James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in four consecutive NBA Finals before James left Cleveland to join the Lakers.

Golden State played a tough series with the Kings, but it rode a 50-point game from two-time league MVP Stephen Curry to a win in Game 7. Curry scored the most points in a Game 7 in the history of the NBA on Sunday.

The Lakers and Warriors certainly have a ton of star power, which should make this one of the best matchups of the postseason. The younger Thompson clearly knows what James and Davis are capable of, and he doesn’t seem to be taking them lightly in the second round.

For the Lakers, it will be key for the team to find a way to slow down Curry, who is on a tear this postseason.

Last season’s NBA Finals MVP, Curry has scored at least 28 points in all seven of Golden State’s postseason games in the 2022-23 campaign.

The Lakers and Warriors open up their second-round series on Tuesday, May 2 at Chase Center.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.