NBA Turkey

Klay Thompson Visits Istanbul, Turkey

In accordance with the NBA’s ongoing effort to continue to grow the game of basketball globally, Klay Thompson is visiting Istanbul, Turkey on June 7th and 8th as part of the NBA 3X World Tour. During his trip, Thompson will attend a 3-on-3 competition, interact with youth during basketball drills, participate in a hospital visit, sign autographs, and more.

Upon arriving in Istanbul, Thompson sat down for a phone interview with warriors.com’s R.C. Davis. See below for a selection of quotes taken from the interview, or listen to the full conversation in the embedded audio file:

Q: How was the trip over there?
A: Wasn’t too bad actually. It was like 10 hours in Netherlands, then two hours here to Istanbul.

Q: Have you noticed that basketball is really big in Turkey?
A: It’s big. It’s second fiddle to soccer, but it’s big. There’s really two club teams they really support out here, and I get to go to a game tomorrow night actually. I’m excited to see what a Euro League game looks like.

Q: Omer Asik, Ersan Ilyasova, Hedo Turkoglu…all from Turkey. You’ve only been there a short time, but have you seen any courts around or a lot of basketball hoops?
A: I’ve seen a few, more soccer fields though. But it’s a beautiful city. I didn’t know it was so popular here, so many people live here.

Q: You love soccer. Are you excited for the World Cup?
A: I am. It would be cool to be there because you can’t appreciate it as much on t.v., but I’m really excited for it. It’s the biggest event in sports around the world so I’m really excited.

Q: Did you get a chance to watch Game 1 of the Finals?
A: Man, unbelievable. It was wild. I’ve never seen a game played in 90 degree heat. That was cool though that both teams of course played hard, but the Spurs, man…they just wear you down till that fourth quarter. Would have been a whole different ball game if LeBron played, but it’s going to be a good series.

Q: You’re a part of the NBA 3X Global Tour, where you will visit a hospital, attend a 3-on-3 tournament, coach at a camp…all kinds of things. Is this something you enjoy doing, spreading the good will of the NBA and basketball?
A: Yeah, it’s really a lot of fun, especially the opportunity to travel to different countries you thought you’d never be able to go to. It’s been a lot of fun for me. It’s tiring at times, but other than that it’s a great time.

Q: Any other NBA players over there with you, or are you over there solo?
A: Yeah, the Hardaways, actually. Tim Hardaway Sr. and Jr. are over here doing the same thing.

Q: Any thoughts on your new coach Steve Kerr? Have you had any interaction with him previously?
A: I have. I met him before he got the job. Class act. Great knowledge of the game. I’m excited to get to work with him, it’ll be fun. I’m excited about the group we got, and hopefully I’ll take some time off and get healthy.