Klay Thompson joins select WSU group

KLAY THOMPSON became the third Cougar ever to win an NBA championship ring on Tuesday with Golden State's 105-97 series-clinching win over Cleveland. The former Washington State sharpshooter, however, accomplished something his crimson predecessors didn't.

Aron Baynes was part of the San Antonio team that won the NBA title in 2014. The last, and only other, Coug to win a championship was Gene Conley. He won three straight -- in 1958-59, 1959-60 and 1960-61 -- as Bill Russell's backup on the Boston Celtics. Baynes was also a reserve.

Thompson, meanwhile, was a starter on Golden State's championship team.

He averaged 15.8 points per game in the NBA finals.

Headed into Tuesday's game, Thompson was averaging 19.3 points and 36.8 minutes per game. Baynes averaged 2.3 ppg in the postseason last year. In 33 total playoff games over the course of the three championship years Conley averaged 5.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. (Conley also won a World Series championship as a standout pitcher on the 1957 Milwaukee Braves).

The only other Coug to come close to an NBA title was Craig Ehlo, whose 1985-86 Houston Rockets lost to Boston, 4 games to 2, in the finals.

James Donaldson, another Coug with a long NBA career, came no closer to an NBA ring than the Western Conference finals with the Mavericks in 1987-88.

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