Everyone who watches NBA can't stay immune to Golden State Warriors results and achievements in past two years. With the addition of Kevin Durant, Golden State will have more and more bandwagon fans. Golden State couldn’t accomplish all of that without their “Splash Brothers”. And Draymond Green, but I will stick to “Splash Brothers”.
When most of us think about them first who come to our mind is Stephen Curry, back to back MVP of the regular season and the record-holder of the most 3s scored in the regular season. But most of us forget “the other guy”. Another amazing shooter. Klay Thompson. He is the guy of the shadows who does the dirty work and don’t get adequate credits for that. But can he be considered as a superstar?
Firstly, we need to define what an NBA Superstar means and what are the requirements to become one. The term “NBA Superstar” is thrown around way too loosely and maybe the most misused word in the whole NBA. This term lost its significance. When a player puts some great numbers in a couple of games, medias start to consider him as a new NBA Superstar and new MJ, LeBron and so on. NBA Superstar needs to fulfill some requirements.
First of all, NBA Superstar must be an excellent player, showing up great numbers every night. Second, it must be a player that lead his team through some tough moments and the player who can take responsibility in every situation. And the third thing is that this player needs to be a brand. He must be the guy people buy tickets months in advance to see. The guy people dream to meet one day. The guy kids imitate on the court in the school and nearby park.
When I ask myself is Klay Thompson a superstar and think about all of these sentences I wrote before, my answer is NO. Yes, he is an elite shooter and the guy who can score ten 3s easily in a game. He is maybe inconsistent and had some bad performances, but I could rely on him more than on Curry. We watched playoff this year. And the year before. But he isn’t a brand. I am sorry, Klay’s die hard fans, but he isn’t. That’s the reality. On the other side, Curry is. And he is a superstar. I will add Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, James Harden to that company. The guys who are on the edge are Paul George, Chris Paul, and Anthony Davis. And I will close the circle here.
These are the NBA Superstars at the moment. Maybe he will be in this elite company, but at the moment he is one level below. And that’s ok. There must be some prestige in the title NBA Superstar. The more players given the title, the less meaningful it becomes. And Klay can be one in the future, but he needs to earn it, on the court and off the court.