Recently, 3-time NBA champion Klay Thompson has been playing in the Golden State Warriors G-League affiliate the Santa Cruz Warriors in order to help him readjust to basketball. He’s been out for two seasons, and the last time he played was in the 2019 finals where he tore his ACL. During his recovery phase, he also tore his Achilles. He hasn’t played in the NBA in a long time. To put it in perspective, Ja Morant wasn’t even drafted when Klay Thompson last played!
During his short time in the G-League, reports and staff say he’s been doing amazing. Moreover, he even hit a game winning shot in a scrimmage! Recovery has been looking well for Thompson, and he’s looking at a return date in January. Yet, Thompson still noted that he is a work in progress.
Recently, Draymond Green, a teammate of Klay Thompson, expressed his thoughts and feelings on the matter, which were quite anxious and fearful.
“So I just kind of stay here, stay focused, try not to anticipate that, try to let him work on his own terms. One thing I know about being hurt … you start to feel the anticipation of everyone around you in the circle when that starts to mount up, and the reality is that I don’t think he should feel that. I don’t really think that’s fair to him and his process, his mentals. He may not be ready mentally, right? His body can be great but is he ready tomorrow mentally? He could not be,” Green said, NBC Sports.
What Green said is almost the exact opposite to what Thompson feels. According to Sideline Sources, Klay isn’t scared of getting injured again. Green has been trying to see it from Thompson’s perspective, but he knows that he might not return to be the same player that was dropping 60 points in three quarters. Missing two entire seasons can significantly change the mindset of any player.
“So I don’t want him to feel that anxiety and that pressure that I know comes with it when everybody’s looking like, “Oh man, he about to be back. Hey Klay, you back?’ That anxiety, it adds up and it weighs on you. So, no, I’m not anticipating it all but I am very excited about it. When they set a date, I’ll anticipate that date. Until then, I try to keep my hopes very even-keeled.”
Although the former Defensive Player of The Year’s thoughts on this situation might not be what people were wanting or expecting to hear, it might be the right way to view it. The Warriors might not even start Thompson when he comes back upon his return, let alone play him for 30-40 minutes like he used to.