PULLMAN, Wash. — "The Coug love... There's nothing like it," Klay Thompson reflected during his press conference.
There's also nothing like getting your jersey retired.
"It was very surreal and I can't believe that's going to hang there forever," said Klay of his jersey in the rafters. "I'm such a lucky person. I'm very far from self made. I had so much help along the way, my parents, my teammates. So I'm just grateful to be back."
The Cougs put on a show today for Klay and he was very impressed.
"Surpassed all my expectations. Just to see the city in the building. There's nothing like Coug love. That's what I've come to realize. I meant that when I said when I'm around the country and just hear, 'Go Cougs!' That's a special kinship when someone says that to you."
Before Klay Thompson was the Klay Thompson, he was just a kid on the Palouse. He said his time in Pullman prepared him for a much bigger spotlight.
"It was just so much fun to have that ability to inspire people. I felt that before I even got the NBA playing in the Palouse. Especially to the people living in Pullman, how much this institution means to them, that's who I played for."
Klay said during his jersey retirement speech that no matter the jersey he puts on, he will always be a Coug.
But what does being a Coug mean to him?
"To me, being a Coug means you're family. I meant that when I say that when I go worldwide and when I hear a 'Go Cougs!' It's an immediate connection. The community here, the college experience, it's rare to get. To me, being a Coug is family, it's loyalty, it's friendship. It's just having your brethren or your sisters back."