Klay Thompson makes his long-awaited Warriors return ... as sideline reporter

SAN FRANCISCO -- Golden State Warriors All-Star swingman Klay Thompson served as a guest analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area during the second quarter of the network's telecast of Wednesday's 104-90 win against the Chicago Bulls. Thompson, who has been out all season while he recovers from a torn ACL in his left knee, sat at a table just off the floor in the tunnel leading to the Warriors locker room as he provided commentary on the game.

Thompson frequently praised his younger teammates throughout the quarter, as play-by-play man Bob Fitzgerald and analyst, and former Warrior, Kelenna Azubuike, asked him questions.

"I enjoy playing that veteran role now," Thompson said. "I can't believe I'm at that stage of my career now."

Thompson offered praise for Bulls swingman Zach LaVine as he hit shots all over the floor, but noted that he was happy LaVine didn't break his record for most 3-pointers in a game last Saturday after LaVine hit 13 in a win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Thompson's appearance on the telecast came in conjunction with the Warriors having a "Headband Klay" bobblehead giveaway to commemorate Thompson's record-setting 14 3-pointers in a win last October against the Bulls.

"I know it's going to be broken soon," Thompson said of the 3-point record.

Aside from breaking down his favorite bobbleheads over the years, Thompson also managed to sneak in some congratulatory words after a marriage proposal between fans was accepted during a timeout in the second quarter.

"Most importantly, congratulations to Mrs. Principessa," Thompson said, interrupting his bobblehead breakdown as the happy couple was shown on the big screens inside Chase Center. "I love seeing those engagements here, it's always special. I might have butchered your name. I'm sorry, but I tried."

Thompson even swooped in totake over the postgame walk-off interview with one of the Warriors' stars of the game, forwardOmari Spellman, who had 13 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks in Golden State's first home win since Nov. 4.

"Klay's hilarious," Spellman said after the game. "It was hard not to laugh because you don't think of one of your teammates like a sideline reporter, but it was fun. It was cool. I'm happy I got to be a part of that with him."

Longtime teammate Draymond Green couldn't believe what he was seeing as Thompson interviewed Spellman after the game.

"A lot of s--- has changed," Green said. "Klay didn't even like doing interviews, now he likes interviewing people. What the hell's going on around here?

"It's crazy. I guess he's bored."

Warriors staff members were having a good time with Thompson's run at a television career. Coach Steve Kerr, who did television work for Turner Sports before coming to the Warriors, reminisced before the game about the challenges he had as a reporter during his one chance at an in-game interview.

"I do remember the first time I had to do, maybe the only time, I had to do a sideline interview when I was working at TNT," Kerr said.

"Cheryl Miller couldn't make the game, I think she was sick, and so they had me run over, we were in Portland, I think I was interviewing Vinny Del Negro, and I had to ask him whatever dull question is asked at the end of the quarter: 'You're getting beat on the glass, what do you do to fix that?' One of those questions. And I'm holding the mic [close to me], but I'm so uncomfortable...

"I said, 'What do you think you have to do?' He starts answering, and he's over here, and I'm nodding and the mic is still right here and the producer's in my ear going, "Hold the mic in front of Vinny!' And I was not asked to do that again. Not surprisingly."

Kerr joked that he wanted Thompson to conduct an in-game interview with him on Wednesday. Alas, it didn't happen as Thompson took off his headset in short order after the first half concluded.

"Klay will definitely be better than me," Kerr said pregame. "More entertaining for sure. Mine was unintentional comedy."

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The best of Klay's quarter as a sideline reporter
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Klay Thompson's gems include a review of his own bobblehead, celebrating his teammates' slick slams and congratulating a newly engaged couple in the stands.
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