Amid the reported chemistry issues throughout the reigning champion, Golden State Warriors is a story of another once-disgruntled star. All-Star guard Klay Thompson reportedly fell into a deep depression after the Warriors made the decision to waive center Anderson Varejao in February 2017, according to ESPN’s Amin Elhassan on the Warriors Wednesday podcast:
“Someone told me that when Varejao got cut, Klay went into this deep depression and at that time, that was the first time that anyone on the team realized that that was Klay’s best friend. No one even knew until he got cut and Klay was all sad, and they were all like, ‘Oh snap, that’s your boy?’ And it turns out, that was his on-the-road buddy. Like, they’d go to dinner together and they’d have a couple of drinks together and stuff like that.”
Varejao was signed by the Golden State Warriors in February 2016 after being waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers, going on to contribute to the franchise’s record-breaking 73 win season, but ultimately losing to his former team in the NBA Finals.
Varejao and Thompson’s friendship isn’t very well-documented, as the pair’s most notable moment was when Thompson shared that he had received advice from the veteran big man. However, Varejao was reportedly the three-time NBA champion’s on-the-road buddy, as the two would frequently go out to dinners and have drinks.
Varejao, now retired from the NBA, was waived by Golden State right before the team went on to win a pair of titles in 2017 and 2018. He didn’t contribute much on the court during his time there and has since had his role replaced by the likes of Damian Jones, Jordan Bell, Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee, and Kevon Looney.