Former Warriors big man Andrew Bogut recently told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic a funny story about how Thompson detached himself from Team USA’s basketball squad during the 2016 Olympics.
In the process of recounting the story, Bogut took a subtle shot at the U.S. ballers for being too posh for the rest of the world.
“I still remember in the 2016 Olympics, we’re all staying in the village,” Bogut said. “The USA (men’s basketball team), as you know, they’re too big-time for the village. They have them on a cruise liner or whatever they stay at. But we get back from practice one day, like middle of the tournament, got off the bus and in the village we’re walking to our residences. And I see Klay. As I’m on the bus I see Klay just walking around, Team USA gear, headphones on, just walking by himself.”
During the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Team USA stayed in a luxurious cruise ship instead of the Olympic Village where many of the other athletes stayed.
While the NBA stars’ stay was seen as an opulent move, Thompson showed a more down to earth side. Bogut recalled how Thompson openly and kindly hung out with Australian players.
“So I jump off the bus, I’m like, ‘Klay, what are you doing, man?’” Bogus said. “Say hello to him. He goes, ‘Yeah, I just wanted to come see the village.’ He just came by himself, no security, no other players with him. Then he’s like, ‘Where are you going?’ I said, ‘I’m just going back to the Australian quarters.’ And he’s, ‘Can I come with you?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, no worries.’
“And he came with us, hung out with a few of our players, because he knows Aron Baynes and Brock Motum. Came and said hello to them. And then fast-forward two or three hours later, I thought he’d left. I walked downstairs to go to dinner or whatever and he’s downstairs playing ping-pong with, like, someone from the athletics team on the Australian national team, you know?”
Furthermore, Thompson’s teammates adore him. Many of the sharpshooter’s teammates were heartbroken over the crushing injuries he faced over the last two years.
On the bright side, the five-time All-Star has made significant progress from his rehab and could return to action on Sunday versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The three-time champion has career averages of 19.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Thompson and Bogut played together for multiple years and won a title together in 2015.