Klay Thompson on the Rise of Stance Socks and How a Ring Changed His Life

In 2015, you can’t have a discussion about the best two-guard in the game without mentioning Golden State’s Klay Thompson, the 6-5 former Washington State star.

Thompson’s rise to prominence came quickly. Last year marked his first All-Star Game appearance as he averaged nearly 22 points per game for the best team in the L. At just 25, Thompson could spend the next decade alongside league MVP Stephen Curry, lighting the world up from all over the floor.

He’s a unique player with a special set of skills and creativity, which makes him a perfect fit with STANCE socks. The sock giant is gearing up for the next step, as well, having partnered with the NBA to provide the official on-floor game socks this year. For STANCE, their products are all about creativity and embracing individuality.

With the NBA season not too far into the future, we got up with No. 11 to talk about his partnership with STANCE, what to expect now that he’s rocking the illest socks, and also how his life has changed this year with a championship ring.

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When people think about STANCE, they think about creativity. When people think about Klay Thompson, they think about the hooper. So, how do you get creative in your private life?
Man, I like to read a lot. I’ve been doing that since I got to the league, since we have so much downtime. I think it keeps my mind sharp. Also, I obviously love movies, and I play other sports outside of basketball to stay in shape. I like to swim, play golf, play tennis. I used to skate a lot, but contractually I can’t anymore, so that’s in the past. Yeah, so, those are my creative outlets right there.

When you were in high school, your goal was to play in college. When you were in college, your goal was to play in the league. Once you’re in the league, the world is your oyster, everyone wants to be down with you. That said, how do you choose who to align with?
You have to be selective. You have to sign with brands you believe in and are passionate about—that’s what makes for a great relationship. As far as all the success, you have to stay grounded, and embrace it but stay humble. That’s how you get approached by brands—staying humble and working hard.

Klay Thompson Stance Socks
Stance

I hear that. So how do you feel about your deal with STANCE?
I’m excited. Like you said, their creativity is on another level. They’ve kind of changed the sock game, and their socks are so comfortable too. The partnership with the league is going to be special, as well. So, just to have them want me gave me a huge confidence boost. I mean, I felt like we could build something great because I love to hoop, and every hooper needs good socks. I run and shoot for a living, so I have to take care of my feet. Also, they fell in love with the throwback socks with all the old NBA players and I thought that was really sweet.

What’s your personal sock game look like?
I try to collect as many NBA socks as possible, because you can’t find them. I also got a bunch of STANCE socks. What I love about the STANCE ones are, you can wear them casual, to dress up or in any setting. It’s growing, is what I can say about my socks.

Which ones do you like, the NBA legends or more stars and stripes?
It depends on the day, honestly. I love the NBA throwbacks, ’cause I think it’s cool to pay homage—those were some of the golden years of the NBA. But like I said, it depends on what kind of mood I’m in. Also, the setting dictates what kind of sock.

You were actually the first NBA player to wear the new NBA on-court sock. What do you think of it?
It’s great, man. It’s comfortable, it has great grip, and it’s not too thick. At the same time, it supports your feet well and lets them breathe. I’m excited to wear them this season, and I think everyone is.

So every player is coming back with new socks next season. What new thing are you personally bringing to the table?
I got a new shoe, and I’ve got some new things I’ve added to my game. I can’t say what it is right now, ’cause I’m gonna show it. Yeah, that’s about it. Oh, and hopefully another championship.

I hear that. Was this offseason busier than previous ones?
No question. It was shorter, too, and that’s a great thing. It was busy, but I embraced it. That’s the life of an NBA champ, and you’ve got to enjoy every minute of it because you never know when your next shot to win is. It’s been an offseason for the ages—you almost never want it to end, but we’re excited to defend our throne.

You keep talking about it, but what did winning a championship feel like in the moments afterwards?
It was unbelievable; you almost can’t put it into words. It was a sensational feeling you probably only come across a handful of times in your life. It was monumental for, not only us, but our fans and NBA lovers.

For sure. In the wake of the chip, there are more eyes on you than ever. What do you have to say to all of the kids who look up to you?
Just do what you love, work hard, stay humble, and you’ll be successful. And if you hoop, hoop for the love of the game and cherish the moments growing up playing with your friends, because you’ll look back and think of those as some of the best times of your life. And it goes by fast, so enjoy it.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney