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Klay 'would love to be a Warrior for life'

Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Despite his recent benching, Golden State Warriors veteran Klay Thompson wants to stay with the franchise for his entire career.

When asked whether his recent role change impacts his desire to return, Thompson said, "Not really," according to The Athletic's Sam Amick.

"You've still got to examine all of your options, but I would love to be a Warrior for life. Whatever happens, though, I've got a few more years to play this game, so I'm gonna enjoy every second. I realize that I see light at the end of the tunnel, (and) I'm not sure if I want to play until I'm 40, man. That sounds really exhausting."

Thompson has come off the bench in his last four games, the first time since his rookie season that he's played in a reserve role. Over that stretch, the 34-year-old is averaging 18.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and two assists in 27.1 minutes. He's also making four 3-pointers per game, shooting 42% from deep.

The Warriors are 3-1 since Thompson's role change and 8-2 in their last 10 games. They rank 10th in the Western Conference.

The veteran guard is set to hit free agency in the summer and remains the only core member of the franchise who doesn't have a deal in place for next season. The franchise extended head coach Steve Kerr last week.

"I'm doing great," Thompson said. "I think I'm doing much better in not putting my identity in my performance, especially after 11 years of NBA basketball. That alone is an incredible accomplishment. And to be out here and still be playing and having fun and being healthy, that trumps any big shooting night or 50-40-90 milestones.

"It took me a long time to realize that, but once I finally did, my game has been much better. I've been so much more at ease and realizing that, 'Gosh, this is such a cool opportunity for me.' Guys would kill to be in my shoes, even with all the injuries and all that. The heights we've reached are rare, so it's been awesome."

The Warriors take on the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.

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