Klay Thompson said he was "proud" of Stephen Curry after his Golden State Warriors team-mate agreed to play a professional golf tournament, causing a stir among golf pros.
Thompson said the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player could finish top-20 after he accepted an invite to play the second-tier Web.com Tour's Ellie Mae Classic in August.
"It's really cool to see Steph playing on the Web.com tour," Thompson said during a visit to the Mission Hills golf complex in southern China.
"I know he takes golf so seriously, it's only second to basketball for him as an athlete. I hope he does really well.
"I think he can do great, maybe finish top 20. I don't know if he can win it because he's playing against some of the best players in the world, but I'm rooting for him."
Some golfers voiced concern that Curry was taking a spot away from a professional player, although others including Justin Thomas and Jason Dufner tweeted their support.
"I'm just proud of him because he loves golf and he's going to do great," Thompson said. "He probably could have been a professional if he chose that path instead of basketball, so it's cool to see him living out his dream."