Former Wizard offers a controversial take on Klay Thompson's struggles

Gilbert Arenas believes Thompson needs to expand his game a bit
Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors
Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

With the NBA season pushing forward, there have already been a lot of amazing moments. And some disappointing ones.

In fact, the latter includes arguably one of the biggest backcourt threats of all time, Klay Thompson. After averaging 20-plus points in seven consecutive seasons, the Golden State Warriors vet is now logging in 15.8 points a night, the lowest since his 2012-13 campaign.

While many are left pondering over why Thompson is facing a collapse in his numbers, a couple of factors come into play. One is, of course, his track record of injuries. During his 10-year career, he has been dealt numerous injuries, mainly to his ankles. However, his most recent ones were the worst as they caused him to miss back-to-back seasons and a total of 137 regular-season games. It's safe to say his career hasn’t been the same since.

Thompson’s horrid season has caught former Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas’ attention. He even offered a controversial take that has some NBA pundits rubbing their chins.

"“Somebody like Klay Thompson. He never improved to me. You came in as a spot shooter and, even though you have four championships, you’re still a spot shooter. Right? Versus someone who’s like ‘Okay, they might need me to do something else and I need to have that skillset’”"

Gilbert Arenas, Gil's Arena Show

Sure, Thompson made an incredible career out of being a spot-up shooter. Overall, he averages 19.7 points and shoots the ball at a high clip, completing 45 percent from his field goals and 41 percent of his 3-pointers. Ever since player tracking started in the 2013-14 season, Thompson averaged 3.5 points per game in spot-up shooting situations from 2015-16 to present.

And, of course, there’s the historic performance he put together during the 2016-17 season. On Dec. 5, 2016, he scored a career-high 60 points against the Indiana Pacers but what made it more impressive was the fact that he only recorded 11 dribbles. It was that game that solidified his title as one of the greatest spot-up shooters of all time.

Arenas is speaking from his own experience

The history of the NBA is full of good players who had to adjust their game to become great. One of them is actually Gilbert Arenas himself.

After playing two years at the University of Arizona, Arenas entered the 2001 NBA Draft. Even though he was always a natural scorer, the scouting report pointed to his inability to defend and playmake as his weaknesses.

When he entered the NBA, he made it a mission to change that and he did. He made a huge leap during his tenure in D.C. He remained a score-first player but added more value to his game. He never won a Defensive Player of the Year award nor even made an All-Defensive Team but did average 2.3 steals per 100 possessions as a Wizard. He even had a career-high eight steals on Mar. 17, 2004 against the Sacramento Kings.

He always possessed great court vision but never equipped the proper playmaking skills to complement it. But while playing for the Wizards, he showed he can create plays for his teammates as he averaged 7.5 assists per 100 possessions. Sure, Arenas never won a championship nor even had the deep range shooting accuracy that Thompson holds but with these changes, he became a better all-around player. He finished his career as a three-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA player.

If Thompson can figure out how to allow his game to evolve, he could easily climb out of his current slump. Whether it's too late for him to adapt his game remains to be seen.

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