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The Warriors’ Klay Thompson Was Asked a Simple Question About Basketball. In a Few Words, He Gave a Brilliant Lesson in Emotional Wisdom

You don’t always expect sports stars to be fountains of maturity.

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 12 Jan 2019

klay thompson on basketball

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.


The lovely thing about sports stars and sportswriters is that the latter always have the same gameplan and the former know exactly how to box them out.

Take most question-and-answer exchanges between the two groups, change the names and nothing will seem amiss.

It was a great team effort.

We always fight till the end.

That's a great team over there (that we just beat by 48 points).

Occasionally, though, you'll hear words emerge from the mouth of a sports star that not only make you ooze relief, but even incite you to think a little.

Last week, the Golden State Warriors all-star, straight-faced, shooting guard Klay Thompson was asked a typical basketball question:

What do you like about your team right now?

The Warriors have had their ups-and-downs.

Many, I suspect, have been caused by the overly long nature of the regular season. Yet here was Thompson being asked to offer some positive insight into the Warriors true state.

He retorted in a marvelous way:

What do I like? Life. Food. My dog. My family. My friends. My home. My health. That's what I'm thankful for, that's what I like. My hobbies. Movies, video games. And being able to do this for a living, it's pretty special.

Thompson wasn't being smug. He wasn't trying to be cleverer-than-thou.

The truth is that he enjoys interviews like Donald Trump enjoys anonymity.

His words, though, offer a brilliant perspective on how we can get lost in constantly talking about our jobs.

It isn't just sports stars. Lawyers can't stop talking about the law. Scientists can't stop talking about science. And, I'm sure, proctologists have some fascinating conversations at home.

Here, though, Thompson is giving an honest appraisal of his like-rankings. And remarkably wise rankings they are.

Many speak of emotional intelligence as something worth attaining.

I'm not entirely fond of that phrase, as I think intelligence is often opposed to the positive use of emotions.

I prefer emotional wisdom.

I'm always more moved by conversations with the wise than with the intelligent.

Most of the people who created the digital mess we're living in today are intelligent. Few have shown wisdom.

If you want your emotions to help you reach whatever it is you're grasping at, it's worth keeping Thompson's wise words in mind.

One day, you might just be as happy as he seems to be.

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