Kevin Durant's agent, Rich Kleiman, particularly questioned whether Klay Thompson was on board with him joining the Golden State Warriors.
“(Kleiman said) ‘You’re a potential top 10 player,’ and just (asked) how the chemistry would be with Kevin,” Thompson recalled. “I don’t remember (his) exact words, but just how the chemistry would be with Kevin coming along and if I was willing to sacrifice touches or exposure or all that. I thought my presence there just showed him. Obviously, him hearing it coming from my mouth helped a lot.
“I thought (Kleiman) was a lawyer. I was like, ‘Man, he’s the ultimate devil’s advocate right now, and you’ve got to respect it.’ It was really cool.”
Thompson hadn't seriously considered the possibility of Durant joining the Warriors until just days before the start of free agency.
“Oh yeah, (his mentality) is completely the same (as it was two years ago),” Thompson said. “If you asked (former players) who put up great numbers in this league and never even got to play in the conference finals or the NBA Finals, I’m sure they’d tell you they’d trade it all to be on a great team. I’m not worried about it.
“I think I showed how much I’m willing to make a sacrifice by just going to see Kevin and trying to pitch to him how badly we (wanted) him. That right there should speak volumes.”
Durant was in on signing with the Warriors once it was clear they were all willing to sacrifice.
“(What he’ll lose individually) doesn’t come to my mind,” Thompson insisted. “I just want to be efficient with what I do (next season), whether it’s averaging 10 points, 15 points, 20 points (per game). I just want to go out there and be effective. People have been asking me this question all the time, and I just try to point them to Manu Ginobili’s career.
“The guy, look at the sacrifices he made man. He’s been one of the best two-guards in the league for so long, and he’s got the respect of everybody in the NBA because he’s a winner. He’s obviously a multiple All-Star.”
Thompson is getting to know Durant better this summer as part of the United States' Olympic team.
“It’s growing still,” Thompson said of the relationship. “I mean we’re just getting to know each other. I’m still in awe of the guy. I’m still kind of starstruck when I’m around him, like ‘Man, that’s Kevin Durant, you know? He’s on our team. That’s crazy.’ You get to know him more. He’s such a grounded individual. He’s such a normal guy. He just loves basketball. He’s actually a well-rounded person. He likes to talk about everything, whether it’s movies, photography, travel. He’s easy to talk to, and it’s great to have a teammate like that.”