NBA Champion. NBA All-Star. The record-holder for most 3 pointers in a game. 37 points in a quarter. 60 points on 11 dribbles. Game 6 beast. These are all words that describe what has been an underrated career of Klay Thompson up to this point. Drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 2011, his accomplishments have been nothing short of amazing as he has continued to be loved and praised by DubNation. Yet, following the 2019 NBA Finals, I, along with hundreds of thousands of other Warrior fans, could not bear to relive the devastating moment in which he had attempted a dunk with Danny Green trailing. Falling and exerting enough force to tear his ACL - right away, this moment would be one that would crush, not only Thompson, but basketball fans all over the world.
While the frequent movement of players between teams creates a dynamic environment within the league, it can make fans feel as though they are, in the words of Jerry Sinefield, cheering for clothes. Many recent championship teams have been led to victory by players who were not acquired through their draft. Players such as LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the 2020 Los Angeles Lakers, Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry on the 2019 Toronto Raptors, Kevin Durant on the 2017 and 2018 Warriors, James and Chris Bosh on the 2012 and 2013 Miami Heat and others have offered no shortage of store-bought talent within the finals. Historically, however, NBA playoffs rosters followed a trend of being about 50% homegrown. So, are you really cheering for clothes?