end of an era

How Riviera Country Club hosted the end of the Golden State Warriors dynasty

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Ezra Shaw

After Klay Thompson officially left the Golden State Warriors for greener Dallas pastures this week, Steph Curry posted a seemingly never-ending Instagram Story reveling in the Splash Brothers run. Two of these photos, including the final one, featured Steph and Klay on the golf course, something that’s become synonymous with the pair. So it almost seems fitting that the four-time NBA championship-winning dynasty came to an end at Riviera Country Club.

An in-depth ESPN expose on Thompson leaving the Bay Area begins at the renowned golf course with a round between the three-point specialist and the team’s controlling owner, Joe Lacob. It didn’t seem to go great.

“Six weeks ago, the club's famous golf course was the site of the end of the Golden State Warriors' 13-year marriage to Klay Thompson,” Ramona Shelburne and Kendra Andrews write. “The team's controlling owner, Joe Lacob, had invited Thompson to play a round with him at the exclusive course to show him respect, to try to strengthen a frayed bond with the franchise legend so that he might be willing to wait, to trust that the team still wanted him, even though negotiations on a new contract had long since gone south.”

Of course, things stayed frosty with Thompson demanding a two-year deal for roughly $20 million a season, even telling Curry to not use his "organizational clout to interfere with his negotiations with the team." The Warriors' management responded with something to the extent of “We just can't do it yet,” and that was that.

According to ESPN, the golf “was just golf.” Thompson wasn’t coming back. He would soon be a Maverick.

“And so it was that Lacob invited Thompson out to play Riviera in mid-May,” Shelburne and Andrews continue. “There was no set agenda. Lacob just wanted to connect with Thompson and to play. The invitation alone conveyed respect.

“But in this case, it was just golf. There was no discussion of contracts or the team. No exploration of why Thompson had been so miserable all year. No drink out by Bogey's Tree.”

A 13-year run, four championships and a strong showing in The Match is nothing to scoff at. Everything ends eventually and we have no doubt that Curry and Thompson will be teeing off together again soon enough. Maybe just not at Riviera.