Klay Thompson has revealed how NBA champion Golden State Warriors have taken inspiration from Barcelona’s tiki-taka style of football in recent seasons.
The Warriors, who kicked off their title defense with a 123-109 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, have been a dominant force under head coach Steve Kerr, winning four championships in the eight last years.
One of the most notable aspects of Golden State’s play during Kerr’s tenure has been their impressive ball movement, with 57-year-old Pep Guardiola adapting ideas used by Pep Guardiola during his Barca tenure for the basketball court.
Thompson said having an open player and keeping the ball moving are aspects they took over from Barcelona and there is no doubt that the Warriors’ approach enables him and the most valuable player of last season’s NBA Finals Steph Curry to flourish as well.
“I give Steve credit, he came in and he had a vision, just to keep this thing warm,” Thompson said after the season-opening win over the Lakers.
“He gave us the perfect example of FC Barcelona, they call him tiki-taka.
“It’s just a kick to the open man and with us, kick it to the open man, keep it moving, and it plays so much for me and Steph’s strengths…it’s perfect. “
The tiki-taka, popularized by Barca during the four seasons of current Manchester City manager Guardiola, is characterized by short, precise passes to keep the ball moving without losing the ball.
The style of play was hugely successful for Barcelona as Guardiola guided them to three La Liga titles and two Champions League triumphs between 2008 and 2012.
Curry hailed Barca and Guardiola in 2016, while saying players like their then talisman Lionel Messi served as inspiration.
“The things they do in every game and their style of play is very similar to ours,” Curry said at the time.