It’s official: Klay Thompson is a really, really big deal in the NBA.
Want proof? Not only did the former Washington State standout become the first Cougar to start in an NBA All-Star Game Sunday, but he’s on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated magazine this week; his shooting form is the subject of a current “Sports Science” segment on ESPN, and he just came out with a signature line of basketball shoes.
ESPN’s analysis of Thompson’s 3-point shooting stroke revealed that he releases the ball nearly 15 percent quicker than the average NBA player. ESPN also tested Thompson’s muscle memory by having the lights turned out right before he received 10 passes, and the Golden State Warriors guard drained 8 of 10 from 3-point range in a pitch-black gym.
Cougfan.com, the WSU branch of Scout.com, said the only other Cougar to grace a Sports Illustrated cover was San Diego Chargers quarterback Ryan Leaf in 2000.
Anta, a Chinese shoe company, introduced “KT Fire” shoes last week in New York prior to the NBA All-Star Game.
Thompson, a fourth-year pro, signed a four-year, $69 million contract extension prior to
the season. He ranks 10th in the NBA with 22 points per game and fourth in 3-point
shooting percentage at 44.0. He’s also a top defensive player for the Warriors, who
have a league-best 43-9 record.