On Saturday afternoon, Klay Thompson had his jersey retired by Washington State, as the Cougars hosted Oregon State on a big day for the Warriors star shooting guard back in Pullman.
Thompson wasn’t alone in making the trip from the Bay up to Washington State, as Stephen Curry joined him to support his friend and backcourt mate as his alma mater put his jersey in the rafters. During the game, the Pac-12 Network broadcast spoke with Curry and one of the questions asked is whether he thinks he’d have the same career if the Warriors hadn’t drafted Klay, to which he responded ‘not a chance.’
Steph Curry was asked if his career would be the same without Klay Thompson.
His response: "No, not a chance. Situation is everything." pic.twitter.com/7OVY7Fa8uJ
— Chris Montano (@gswchris) January 18, 2020
It is at once a nice answer that you’d expect Curry to say, particularly given the moment his teammate was set to have, but it’s also a true statement. The Warriors would not have become the team they were without that group coming together and growing as they did into the best team in the league. They wouldn’t have been a destination for Kevin Durant if the Steph and Klay don’t become the Splash Brothers — and as Steph notes, Draymond doesn’t become the all-everything force he was.
The “situation is everything” line is one that’s often forgotten when we discuss player and team success in the NBA. Guys get drafted into places without a lot of opportunity, or to a place that’s trying to contend rather than develop, or simply just doesn’t have the culture and structure in place to help a player maximize his talents. Beyond that, the complementary talent offered to a player is also needed in him being able to be at his best, and Curry and Thompson are a tremendous example of that.
Neither likely reaches the heights they have without each other, which isn’t a knock on either, but more of a compliment for how great they are together and how both make the other’s life easier when they share the floor. We may not see that duo on the court this season, as Curry is expected back but Thompson is not, but next season they’ll look to write the next chapter in their story together.