Klay Thompson, an NBA All-Star and member of the Golden State Warriors, recently appeared on Kneading Dough with Maverick Carter to discuss finance but the chat delved into how Thompson spent a lot of money when he first entered the league and one of his big leaks happened to be the losing at poker against his much-better teammates like Steph Curry and David Lee.
Who would have thunk that Klay Thompson was the big fish in the Golden State Warriors game? Thompson, along with his teammate Steph Curry, gained notoriety in the NBA as the Splash Brothers because of their shooting and scoring ability while the Golden State Warriors built a championship dynasty.
NBA teams have their own plane, which is where most of the big poker games occur during road trips when the team has to log long hours flying across the country. Pro athletes, especially NBA players, are hyper-competitive Alpha Males. You do not make it at the professional level on just talent alone, you have to have drive and tenacity and the willingness to be the best at all times. It goes without saying that pro athletes cannot turn off their Alpha ways, especially in a friendly poker game. That's why those games always start out as a way to kill time and escalate into stakes that would make the biggest sharks in Vegas drool for a month straight.
Apparently according to multiple reports over the years, earlier in his career Klay Thompson lost his shirt on the plane and elsewhere during an ongoing game among his GSW teammates.
Thompson appeared on a podcast/interview with Maverick Carter, who hosts Kneading Dough on Uninterrupted. The podcast is a safe space and forum for professional athletes to discuss money management
Thompson revealed a lot of his life leaks early in his career, like his penchant to spend money on clothes and sneakers. He referred to himself as a clothes hoarder and he finally realized that he had more stuff than he could ever wear.
His other big expense was gambling debts to other teammates. Thompson was getting steamrolled by his teammates, almost all of which earned more money than Thompson, who was still on his rookie contract.
Apparently, Thompson was terrible at reading bluffs and loved chasing flushes to the river.
"Of course, Klay still misses all his easy reads on bluffs, on the blinds, on literally every read at the table," explained Steph Curry last year during an AMA session. "He's easy money, Bogut, easy money."
Bogut refers to Andrew Bogut. The big man might be a fish, but he's not as bad as Thompson.
"Klay just chases those flushes, fourth street and fifth street," Bogut told Sporting News. "He'll pay that big bet off to get at the river."
Hmmmmmm.... just pound those draws and valuetown bets on Thompson because he'll keep donating.
Thompson's skills at the table improved, but he still was considered one of the fish in the GSW game.
"I got much better, but that was one of my faults," said Thompson. "I love playing cards."