Thompson thriving at an unprecedented level of play

CHRIS ARNESON | Evergreen columnist

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In a game against the Indiana Pacers last week, Golden State Warriors guard and WSU alumnus Klay Thompson scored 60 points in just 29 minutes of action in a 142-106 home court rout.

Witnesses who claim to have been among the 19,596 lucky fans in attendance on Dec. 5 say they saw a blurred stoic figure launching balls at the hoop like mini rocket ships. Perhaps the wild crowd was mesmerized by the PBS logo incarnate turning a typical basketball game into the most exciting telethon of all time.

Thompson dribbled the basketball a total of 11 times in the 29 minutes he was on the court last Monday night. Had he played all 48 minutes, Thompson was on-pace to score 100 points. Wilt Chamberlain just did a 360 in his grave.

Those of us who have seen some of Thompson’s previous scoring exploits are not shocked. These are the times when his jump shot looks like he is playing on a portable hoop that goes over the garbage can in the office.

There was the game at Oracle Arena against the Sacramento Kings back in January of 2015. Witnesses claim to have seen a slender, expressionless man wearing No. 11 on a Warriors jersey do unimaginable things with a Spalding basketball. Things that not even Teen Wolf dreamt of doing on a basketball court or James Naismith conjured up.

Thompson scored 37 points in the third quarter of the game on 13 of 13 shooting from the floor and nailed nine three-pointers. That’s right. 37 points in 12 minutes of action on perfect shooting.

Remember, too, that the five Kings players who disguised themselves as a defense that night are professional basketball players with families, agents, accountants, salaries and careers.

They are paid enormous salary figures to do one thing: play basketball every single day and improve their game. When they wake up in the morning, they look forward to being able to once again play the sport they have loved for years.

Likewise, when Thompson wakes up in the morning, he eats a bowl of socket wrenches and milk. Then he visualizes himself eviscerating the net and his opponent’s ego with a barrage of 28-foot jump shots while doing triangle pushups and humming the theme song to Happy Days.

Mere mortals aside, Thompson is on a different scoring level than anyone else in the NBA. Thompson’s game mirrors the contestant on Survivor who can do the endurance challenge forever. Thompson could balance a bowl of rice on his head on one leg on a wooden plank in a swamp while being yelled at by Jeff Probst and his custom Tommy Bahama shirt for 16 consecutive hours.

If Thompson went on American Idol back in its heyday, he would make Simon Cowell look like Paula Abdul (while wishing he was Ryan Seacrest) to his Randy Jackson.

The point is, as the WSU men’s basketball team works to stabilize its roster and raise its field goal percentage as Pac-12 play looms, Thompson reminds all Cougs alike that elite basketball talent was born on the Palouse not so long ago.

That 60-point outburst came from an individual who loves being a Coug and thrived in the same spot current students coexist at.

Take a moment to appreciate the historic and record-setting handiwork from WSU’s most renowned professional athlete.