Now headlong into the NBA Draft process, Klay Thompson is in Chicago for the NBA Draft combine. Thompson got plenty of face time on the ESPNU/ESPN3.com broadcast -- there was probably eight total minutes dedicated to Thompson talk -- but it was unfortunately for all the wrong reasons.
Thanks to his ill-fated marijuana arrest near the end of the season, Thompson became the poster child for "character concerns" in the NBA -- ironic, of course, because Thompson was pretty much the last guy any of us expected to make this sort of mistake.
The broadcast team noted that -- they really don't expect the arrest to be much of a concern for NBA general managers considering drafting Thompson -- but still: They spotlighted Thompson for about five minutes, and for all but about 30 seconds of that time, they were talking about pot, either in relation to Thompson or the NBA in general. And when Andy Katz interviewed him later, the second question was about the pot.
We can presume the NBA executives in attendance weren't talking about that, but nonetheless ... unfortunate.
Still, the broadcasters did have some good things to say about Thompson's game, particularly his shooting (shocking), and Thompson was forthright in answering Katz's questions. He used the word "dream" several more times, which has been his go-to word ever since he arrived at WSU when he talked about the NBA. When you watch him talk, it's hard not to be excited for him -- he almost looks like he can hardly believe he's actually on the cusp of making it to the league.
It's tough to say how Thompson performed in drills, because they didn't really do much analysis -- the four-hour broadcast revolved mostly around interesting storylines with different players and brief scouting reports, rather than the scouting-eye version many have come to expect from watching the NFL's combine.
Interestingly, they listed Thompson's weakness as "inconsistency." There are a number of questionable aspects of Thompson's game from an NBA perspective -- strength, athleticism -- but consistency? Did they watch him this year, or just use last year's game tapes?
The NBA Draft Combine continues on Friday at 10 a.m. PDT, again on ESPNU and ESPN3.com. If you want to watch Thursday's coverage, you can still do that on ESPN3.com. And if you're just interested in Thompson, you can fast-forward to the 1:15:00 mark to hear the first part, and I believe the Katz interview is at 1:46:00.