Amid some underwhelming form so far this season, Golden State Warriors' veteran Klay Thompson has taken on plenty of often-warranted criticism through the first 22 games.
However, Thompson is still a four-time champion and five-time All-Star, so any shot at his game from an historical standpoint is a little fraught with danger. Yet that hasn't stopped former three-time All-Star Gilbert Arenas from criticizing Thompson in a recent episode of the 'Gil's Arena 'Show.
Former Golden State Warriors' guard Gilbert Arenas has taken an unnecessary shot at Klay Thompson for not improving his game
Speaking with Memphis Grizzlies' big man Xavier Tillman, Arenas stated Thompson had "never improved anything" in comparing him to Grizzlies' guard Desmond Bane.
""Somebody like Klay Thompson, he never improved anything. He came in as a spot-up shooter and even though you have four championships, you're still a spot-up shooter. Versus someone who's like okay, they might need me to do something else and I need to have that skillset." Arenas said."
Arenas is right to a degree -- Bane has had to add new elements to his game in the absence of Ja Morant who's 25-game suspension is nearing its conclusion. Thompson has always played alongside Stephen Curry, and has never been afforded the opportunity or responsibility of playing without his fellow splash brother for a significant length of time.
Yet to say that Thompson has "never improved anything" is a wildly inaccurate and blatantly disrespectful statement to make. The now 33-year-old increased his scoring average in each of his first six seasons in the league, not to mention he developed into one of the game's best perimeter defenders.
How many spot-up shooters have averaged over 20 points in seven different seasons of their career? You'd be hard-pressed to find one because having that lone skill isn't going to garner such production. Go and watch Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals -- Thompson was in his prime, had 30 points in less than three-quarters scoring in a myriad of ways.
Sure, he might be just a spot-up shooter now. Fans can often get frustrated by Thompson's battle with accepting that while he still harbours ambition of recapturing that pre-injury form. Who could blame him though? Two devastating injuries wiped out the absolute prime of his career.
The conversation could have easily played out as an appraisal of how Bane's improved his game, even if it's not translating to winning from a Memphis perspective. Instead, Thompson's name was not only unnecessarily brought up, but it paints an incorrect picture particularly to those fans who may have recently got into the game post 2019.
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