With the Golden State Warriors in Dallas to face the Mavericks on Wednesday night, Klay Thompson was spotted walking into American Airlines Center wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey that wasn’t just because he was in the area.
He was paying homage to a late friend.
Tight end Gavin Escobar tragically passed away last September during a climbing accident in Southern California along with a woman. The accident occurred at Tahquitz Rock near Idyllwild, where rescuers were called around 12:30 p.m. local time.
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The Warriors posted a photo of Thompson walking in wearing the jersey, saying that he and Escobar are from the same California town, Rancho Santa Margarita.
Escobar played in the NFL from 2013 to 2017 for the Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens. He had 30 catches for 333 yards and eight touchdowns during his career. He ended his football career with the Alliance of American Football.
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Following this football career, Escobar became a member of the Long Beach Fire Department in February 2022.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the off-duty death of Long Beach Firefighter Gavin Escobar,” the department wrote on Twitter at the time. “Hired on February 5, 2022, Firefighter Escobar was assigned to Fire Station 3 on B-shift.”
Escobar played college football at San Diego State. In the school’s statement regarding his passing, it wrote, “Gavin was the epitome of a student-athlete, and a leader on and off the field.”
Thompson and his Warriors have shot up the Western Conference standings, owning the No. 6 seed entering Wednesday night. He’s played a major role in that happening, averaging 22.0 points over 32.9 minutes per contest this season.
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During Steph Curry’s absences due to injury this season, Thompson has played a critical role in making sure Golden State’s offense didn’t take too much of a hit.
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The West is very tight, though, which makes Wednesday’s game against Dallas important as the Mavericks sit just one game back of the Warriors at 36-36 in the No. 8 seed.