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Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson – four-time champion, five-time All-Star, gold medalist at both the Olympics and the FIBA World Cup, and future Hall of Famer – seems to be adjusting to his sixth-man role just fine. He exploded for 35 points in his first game off the bench since his rookie season, and over his past two games, he scored a total of 48 points in 58 minutes on 16-for-31 shooting (and 11-for-24 shooting from deep). 

"Just being able to still be out there playing with these guys, that in itself is amazing," Thompson told ESPN's Kendra Andrews. "It's been a season of evolution."

This is as healthy an attitude as the Warriors' coaching staff could have hoped for when they made the change two weeks ago. That doesn't mean, however, that Thompson welcomed it.

From ESPN:

Thompson initially didn't take the news well. Kerr told ESPN that Thompson yelled at him and some of the assistants. Later, he came back to apologize to the coaches.

"It was not an easy conversation," Kerr said. "This is maybe the hardest part about getting further away from our prime. It's just, after 12 years [of Thompson starting], it wasn't easy.

"And still moving forward, it's not going to be easy. But I told him, 'If you really embrace it, you can help your team win.'"

Kerr said the timing of the discussion ahead of the All-Star break would help Thompson process the news -- a decision that he agreed with.

Thompson told ESPN that the All-Star break allowed him to have "a complete reset, a huge mental reset." Kerr told ESPN that moving Thompson to the bench was "about finding the best version of our team." All season, Kerr has been tweaking the rotation based on injuries, suspensions, and simply needing to find lineups that work together. Chris Paul, for the first time in his 19-year career, is coming off the bench. Kevon Looney lost his starting spot and has seen his minutes diminish. Andrew Wiggins was the sixth man for the better part of a month. Kerr said it has been "this big experimental phase," which can be challenging for any team, let alone one full of battle-tested vets.

"Trying to mix and match the groups to find the right groups is hard," Kerr told ESPN. "It's not always clear for me or our staff who we should play because we've got a lot of guys who are at similar levels and they all deserve to play."

It is totally normal that Thompson didn't love to hear that Kerr wanted to bring him off the bench. Back in 2014, Andre Iguodala didn't love to hear it, either. On Tuesday against the Washington Wizards, though, with Paul back in the lineup, it was easy to see what the coaching staff was thinking. About halfway through the first quarter, Thompson and Gary Payton II checked in for 21-year-old starters Jonathan Kuminga and Brandin Podziemski. A few possessions later, Paul and Looney checked in for Draymond Green and Moses Moody, the latter of whom was starting in place of Wiggins (personal issue). That's a lot of smarts and experience in the second unit, and Thompson told reporters postgame that Paul, in particular, is "a joy" to play with.

"You got two Hall of Famers in the backcourt coming off the bench, that's such a rare feat, so we take pride in that," Thompson said. "And I think it just makes our team that much [more] dangerous."

Thompson said that Paul "makes my life much easier" by hitting him in stride with "on-time, on-target" passes. As he explained that he's still getting plenty of playing time and there are "benefits to coming off the bench," Payton interrupted him: "Tell 'em it don't matter, Klay! Start or not!"

"Yeah, literally," Thompson said. "Like I said, Gary said, 25 minutes a night, I mean, that's starter minutes. So, not that hard a transition."