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2011 NIT: No, Klay Thompson Did Not Announce He Is Coming Back

As we get closer and closer to the end of the season, the topic of Klay Thompson potentially foregoing his senior season and heading to the NBA is always near the front of our minds. The students last night certainly made it known how close it is to the front of their minds -- they finished off the game by serenading Thompson with chants of "ONE MORE YEAR! ONE MORE YEAR!" as he made his way over to the postgame interview with ESPN's intrepid reporter Stephen Bardo.

In response, Thompson waved one finger in the air at the students, a sign that apparently was universally interpreted last night as, "YES! LET'S DO ONE MORE YEAR! I'M COMING BACK!"

It seemed like a bit of a stretch to me at the time, and it was. Take it away, Vince Grippi:

Asked about it afterward, Thompson said he knows they want one more year from him but he wanted them to know he was taking it one game at a time. The NBA decision? That will come at the end of the year, as he's said all along.

Maybe Klay's full of it. Maybe he really did mean to affirm the students, and then realized after the game that perhaps that wasn't the best idea. Or maybe he's telling the truth. But does it really matter?

To be honest, I don't know if I would have been doing backflips even if he would have told Bardo on national television that he was coming back. Emotion is a funny thing, and if he had made a commitment last night only to change his mind later ... well, he wouldn't be the first guy to do that. Kevin Durant did it. Others have done it. And I'd rather not have any of us -- including him -- in that position.

There will come a point when this season ends when Thompson will announce he's exploring his pro options by declaring for the draft. He will not hire an agent, but he will attend some camps to try to get a feel for his draft stock. Then he'll make his final decision sometime on or around May 8, the current deadline for a player to remove his name from the draft.

Of course, with the current CBA expiring and the potential of a lockout existing, there remains the possibility that all these deadlines get thrown into upheaval. But the bottom line is that Thompson would be sort of dumb to not test the waters -- as a junior who has not done it previously, he has nothing to lose but millions to gain by going through the process without an agent.

So, relax. His decision will come at the proper time. In the meantime, just enjoy the fact that you get to watch him play in crimson and gray at least one more time.