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Klay Thompson explains why he’ll wear No. 31 jersey with Mavericks – NBC Sports Bay Area & California


Klay Thompson explains why he’ll wear No. 31 jersey with Mavericks – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

When the 2024-25 NBA season comes around, it’s going to be enough of an adjustment seeing Klay Thompson in a Dallas Mavericks jersey.

But in addition to having a new team, Thompson also will be sporting a new number. New teammate Kyrie Irving already claims the No. 11 that Thompson wore with the Warriors.

As a result, Thompson is making the switch to No. 31 — the same number worn by another all-time 3-point threat, Reggie Miller.’

The new Dallas signee was asked about the number switch at his introductory press conference Tuesday.

“Well, Kyrie took my number,” Thompson joked, before getting into a more serious explanation.

“I’m not mad at the change. I’m actually excited for it,” Thompson continued. “There’s been a lot of great 31s in this franchise’s history.”

Former guard Jason Terry wore those digits during his Dallas tenure from 2005-12, during which he won an NBA championship in 2011 and a Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2009. Thompson noted his own similarities to Terry in their play styles as off-ball guards. Nick Van Exel is another notable player to don the number in Dallas.

Of course, though he never played with the Mavericks, Reggie Miller is the most well-known No. 31 in NBA history for most fans.

“I watched so much footage of Reggie coming off screens as a teenager,” Thompson revealed. “He had no fear, whether he made or missed a shot — he was going to live or die by it.”

The commonalities between Miller and Thompson hardly need explanation. Miller is one of just five players with more career made 3-pointers than Thompson — the latter is just 80 threes away from passing Miller, though.

“That’s how I modeled my game after, just being able to space the floor,” Thompson continued. “You can’t leave me open like you couldn’t [with] Reggie. That was an inspiration for me as well.

“I have a chance to pass him in threes made, so that would be a cool way to honor someone who really paved the way for a shooter like me.”

Thompson’s former teammate Draymond Green shared his thoughts on the new number in an Instagram story Tuesday.

“31 is nasty work killa,” Green said in the post, referring to Thompson’s nickname, “Killa Klay.”

No matter the team on his front or number on his back, it’s hard to doubt that Thompson won’t keep draining threes as long as he’s on the court.

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