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

When the 2024-25 NBA season begins, it will be quite an adjustment to see Klay Thompson in a Dallas Mavericks jersey.

But in addition to a new team, Thompson will also wear a new number. New teammate Kyrie Irving already claims the number 11 that Thompson wore with the Warriors.

As a result, Thompson moves up to No. 31, the same number worn by another all-time 3-point threat: Reggie Miller.

Dallas’ new player was asked about the number change during his press conference on Tuesday.

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

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

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

Although Reggie Miller never played for the Mavericks, he is the most recognizable No. 31 in NBA history to most fans.

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

The similarities between Miller and Thompson hardly need explaining. Miller is one of five players with more career 3-pointers than Thompson — the latter, however, is only 80 away from passing Miller.

“That’s what I based my game on, 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 to me too.

“I have a chance to pass him on three-pointers, so that would be a nice 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 song in an Instagram Story on Tuesday.

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

Regardless of what team he has in front of him or what team he has behind him, there is no doubt that Thompson will not continue to score as long as he is on the field.

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