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"He will tighten up your handles" - How Klay Thompson's dog Rocco helps him be a better player

Klay said it's not hard to make a dog a best friend
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson poses with the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophies during Media Day

Klay Thompson

Behind the glare and the limelight, NBA stars are often exhausted from grinding and working on their game. Fortunately for Golden State Warriors gunner Klay Thompson, he finds peace, leisure, and even a fun training partner in his pet dog, Rocco.

A pet, a friend, and a training partner

Some Dubs fans may already have heard of Rocco, Thompson’s bulldog who has been by his side through all the ups and downs. Whenever he’s sidelined due to an injury, Klay would find motivation and drive with Rocco.

And if you think Rocco only helps Thompson deal with stress and sadness, you’re wrong. As it turned out, Rocco has been essential in the Splash Brother’s training regimen, specifically in working on his handles.

“We’re very performance-based, and it’s a high-pressure job,” Thompson told The Mercury News of his pet, Rocco, in 2018. “Obviously, we get compensated very well. But it’s still got its rigors that people don’t know about. Having a dog can do wonders that you don’t even realize.”

“I do dribbling drills with that dude, and he will tighten up your handles,” he added. “So, yes, he makes me better.”

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Now it is more obvious why Klay seems to have improved his dribbling as of recently.

A beautiful escape

Unsurprisingly, Klay’s healthy relationship with Rocco is being wholeheartedly acknowledged by his father and former NBA player Mychal. Like any other dad, Mychal is also thrilled to see his son live a happy and stress-free life outside the rigorous world of professional basketball with the help of Rocco.

“He’s been his escape,” Mychal said of Rocco. “His therapy session to get him away from the pressure of basketball.”

Perhaps some are now wondering how Klay, despite having basketball as his best skill, managed to get even better at playing by taking care of his pet dog. He does it so well that Rocco has ultimately become his training partner.

According to the man himself, it wasn’t as hard as it appeared to be but the fact that he and Rocco share a lot of things in common certainly helped.

“They’re just simple beings,” Thompson said of taking care of Rocco. “They just want affection, exercise, and some treats. And I’m a simple guy.”

Having heard all this, we now know why Thompson never cared about what people said. It’s because as long as he knows he’ll be reunited with Rocco once he comes back home, he’ll be all good.

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