Golden State Warriors missed out on playoffs action for the second season running and the absence of Klay Thompson made a huge impact on both those campaigns. The star guard has been out of action since tearing his ACL during the 2019 NBA Finals against Toronto Raptors.
The two successive devastating injuries have kept Thompson out for two whole seasons and the 31-year-old is expected to miss the start of the next season as well.
Warriors General Manager Bob Myers expressed his doubts over Thompson being ready for the 2021-22 season opener, which is expected to take place in October.
“I don’t know if that will be realistic or not,” Myers said while adding that it won’t even be a full year since he suffered his second injury in training that kept him out of the ongoing season.
The franchise are expected to take things slow when it comes to Thompson’s return to the court given the nature of the injuries suffered.
Thompson eager to release pent-up energy
Following the Golden State Warriors’ heart-breaking exit in the play-in tournament to Memphis Grizzlies, Thompson vowed that the Warriors are nowhere close to being done as a unit.
“I plan on being the All-NBA player I was,” he declared, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “I will not settle for anything less. I’m too competitive to just take a relegated role. That’s not me.
“I’m too fiery just to come out there and give you 13 [points] a game on 20 minutes,” Thompson added. “I can’t wait, man. I got a lot of pent up energy.”
He will most likely enter the court with a minutes-restriction, but pundits as well as fans are optimistic about the Warriors’ chances next season.
Steph Curry also admitted that the return of the other half of the ‘Splash Brothers’ would be a huge boost for the team.
In their first campaign without Thompson, the Warriors were plagued with an injury to Curry as well, which resulted in a bottom placed finish in the Western Conference table.
Despite a topsy turvy regular campaign this time around, the Warriors were able to pull things around in the final leg of contests and finished the season as the eighth seed, but failed to progress to the playoffs through the play-in tournament.