Some of the world’s favorite sports stories revolve around players who work dynamically together and push each other to be better. One of the most forceful duos to watch in the past decade has been NBA’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors. The two of them have been part of a team that’s pushed the Warriors into NBA greatness and delighted fans of the game. Here’s where their explosive partnership started, how they got their Splash Brothers nickname, and why they make each other so great.
The Golden State Warriors Splash Brothers
The Splash Brothers moniker refers to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, both excellent players for the Golden State Warriors. They make up the shooting backcourt and are considered by many sports experts to be the best backcourt in NBA history. Curry and Thompson are known for their power on the court and their ability to drain three-point field goals. The Splash Brothers were instrumental parts of the team winning its three most recent NBA Finals.
The nickname “Splash Brothers” originated in 2012. Brian Witt, a writer for the Warriors using the team’s Twitter page, tweeted the hashtag #splashbrothers to describe Curry and Thompson. Fans loved it and quickly adopted the moniker. It references the duo’s ability to “splash” the ball against the net. It also gives a nod to another famous pair of teammates, the “Bash Brothers,” Oakland A’s players Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, who played together in the 1980s.
Though fans have been calling them the Splash Brothers since 2012, Curry and Thompson didn’t fully understand the magic between them until 2014, during games against the LA Clippers in the first round of playoffs. They started acting as decoys and creating openings for each other, forcing the other team to decide which one to focus on when both had a chance at a shot.
A Championship Team
Curry and Thompson are two of the best shooters in NBA history, with Curry often receiving praise as the NBA’s best shooter ever. Curry was drafted to the Warriors in 2009, and Thompson joined the team in 2011. Their court partnership started in 2012, and during the 2012-13 NBA season, they made 483 three-point shots, setting an NBA record. They went on to break their own record during the 2014-15 season when they made a combined total of 525 three-pointers. That same year, both made it to the All-NBA Team.
During the Splash Brothers’ tenure, the Warriors won the championships in 2015, 2017, and 2018. They’ve nabbed conference titles from 2015 to 2019, and again in 2022. Prior to the 2015 championship win, the Golden State Warriors hadn’t won a championship or a conference since 1975. Pre-2015, their most recent division title was from 1976.
The 2015-19 span was a highlight for the Golden State Warriors, during which they had several notable winning streaks. In 2014, the team hired a new coach, Steve Kerr, and in the next several years signed several other stellar players. These years hold some of Curry’s and Thompson’s best moments.
The two shooters have smashed their own personal records for three-point shots during multiple seasons since 2012, and they frequently average more than 40% of attempted shots made. In the 2016-17 season, they once again broke their own three-pointer record, making a combined 678 shots that season. Many fans sport jerseys supporting this backcourt duo at every game, cheering them on as they make NBA history time and again.
This backcourt is a powerful duo for the Warriors. Curry edges out Thompson as a shooter and for his assists, though Thompson is responsible for many points and passes during each Warriors game he plays. On defense, Thompson shines. He uses his height and skill on his feet to defend against the other team’s guards. Both credit playing together and playing with the stellar Warriors lineup as having improved their respective games.
During the past few seasons, both athletes have suffered injuries that have limited their time on the court, though both continue to play explosive games when they return. Their legacy extends into their personal lives too. Curry and Thompson are friends off the court and frequently discuss the ways they push each other to be better players, as well as their unwavering support for each other as people and their pride in the other’s achievements.
Stephen Curry’s History and Stats
After playing for Davidson College in North Carolina, Stephen Curry was drafted seventh in round one by the Warriors in 2009 and has played with the team ever since. He is known as the best shooter in the NBA and as one of the most talented players ever. He has a number of awards to his name, including MVP for 2015 and 2016, NBA All-Star for eight years, All-NBA First, Second, and Third Teams, and many others. He has also set several records and played on two gold-medal FIBA World Cup Teams, in 2010 and 2014.
In his career, the point guard has averaged 24.3 points a game, has a 47.3 field goal percentage, and a 42.8 three-point field goal percentage. His free throw percentage is 90.8. In 2016, he became the first NBA player to score 60 points in under 30 minutes.
Klay Thompson’s History and Stats
Klay Thompson played college ball for Washington State before being drafted 11th in round one by the Warriors in 2011. Like Curry, he boasts an impressive list of awards. He has been named an NBA All-Star five times, has made All-NBA Third Team twice, has won the NBA Three-Point Contest, and was NBA All-Rookie First Team. Additionally, the Washington State Cougars retired his jersey number. He represented the United States at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and helped the team nab gold. He was also on the 2014 gold-medal World Cup team.
Throughout his career, Thompson has averaged 19.5 points per game, with a field goal percentage of 45.8, a three-point field goal percentage of 41.7, and an 84.9 free throw percentage.
The Third Splash Brother
Twice since 2012 has a third player been called the “Third Splash Brother.” The first was DeMarcus Cousins. He made a joke back in 2014 that he was the third Splash Brother when he was teammates with Curry and Thompson representing the U.S. in the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Cousins ended up a Warriors player in the 2018-19 season. Cousins, an NBA All-Star and a talented shooter in his own right, was only a Warrior for one season before moving to the Houston Rockets in 2020.
Warriors fans should add another jersey to memorabilia collections because a rookie has burst into stardom this year. In 2022, buzz about a third Splash Brother surrounded Warriors guard Jordan Poole. This rookie quietly played well during his first year with the Warriors. He was drafted in 2019 but didn’t really shine until 2020-21, a season that Klay Thompson happened to miss. During the 2021-22 season, Poole has shown talent bright enough to get him regular comparisons with Curry, and his prowess as a shooter only seems to strengthen with each Warriors game.
Poole was considered an unrefined player when he first entered the NBA. Current comparisons with the Splash Brothers, especially Curry, are apt to describe him now. He’s also a gifted passer and has talent moving on the court with or without the ball. Poole’s presence has benefited Curry and Thompson during the last few seasons, who both needed time to recover and regain their strides after injuries.
Getting to Know Jordan Poole
So far during his short career, Jordan Poole has a field goal percentage of 41.6, a three-point field goal percentage of 34.1, and an 88.5 free throw percentage. His career average of points per game is 13.7, but during the 2021-22 season he has pulled that number up by almost 5 points. Seeing where this budding star will go as his career continues is an exciting prospect for all Warriors fans, who are ready to see the team on top once again.
In May 2022, Jordan Poole showed off some truly spectacular stats during a showdown with the Dallas Mavericks. Poole’s true shooting percentage hit 79, which is the highest in the history of NBA conference finals. For reference, Stephen Curry ranks eighth on the list of highest true shooting percentage, which he achieved in the 2016-17 season. Poole currently has an advantage in that other teams didn’t realize they needed to be watching him the way they watched Curry and Thompson. After such a stellar season, he’ll certainly be one to watch closely on the court.
At Fanatics, NBA fans can find officially licensed sports apparel, including jerseys representing Curry, Thompson, and Poole. No Warriors collection is complete without Splash Brothers memorabilia, both to look back on the duo’s greatness and to celebrate the exciting things to come. Sports fans can find gear from all leagues at Fanatics, whether they seek NBA jerseys and posters or sports collectibles from any number of other athletics.