The NBA released the All-NBA teams for the 2018-19 season on Thursday, and there weren’t many surprises. One omission that caught some off guard was Klay Thompson, who didn’t make this year’s All-NBA team after averaging 21 points a game with high-level, consistent defense. Thompson was in the midst of an interview when the teams were announced, and was asked about his absence from the list. He wasn’t very happy about it.
The guards who did make it consist of Steph Curry, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker, and Russell Westbrook. They’re all deserving of the award, but Thompson clearly believes someone took his spot. Given he’s one of the top two-way players in the game for one of the greatest teams of all time, it’s hard to argue against him.
Thompson’s reaction can also be attributed to the money he just lost. As a result of not making an All-NBA team before he enters free agency, Thompson will not be eligible for a supermax extension, a difference of about $30 million. I’m not sure all of us would have kept a similar composure had we been informed we lost out on $30 million in the middle of a media appearance.
Thompson is a great player who will sign for the max this summer, whether with the Warriors or another team. But his eye roll at hearing Walker’s name over his is completely understandable. That’s a lot of money to lose out on over awards handed out by media members. Perhaps that concept will be revisited in the future, but for now Thompson must grin and bear it.