Klay Thompson was a vital part of three championship teams for the Golden State Warriors, but it’s been years since the star shooting guard has competed on an NBA court. Thompson tore his ACL during Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, and hasn’t played since. That’s only one of the devastating injuries he suffered in his attempt to return to action.
The Warriors knew they would be getting Thompson back at some point during the 2021-2022 season. They just didn’t know when. Thompson’s impending return looms over the rest of the championship picture as the Warriors have gotten off to the best start in the NBA.
Golden State won 18 of its first 20 games to start the year, and have been in first or second in the Western Conference ever since alongside the Phoenix Suns . Stephen Curry is the front-runner for MVP. Draymond Green is a serious contender for Defensive Player of the Year. The depth has been improved, led by the veteran additions of Nemanja Bjelica and Otto Porter Jr., and the development of Jordan Poole and Gary Payton II. The Phoenix Suns are the only team in the league playing at the Warriors’ level right now. It’s scary to think about what they could look like once Thompson returns.
Why has Thompson been out for so long? When is he coming back? What will the Warriors look like when he finally does return? Let’s go through the other Splash Brother’s long awaited return to the floor.
Klay Thompson’s torn ACL hung over the 2019 NBA Finals
The Warriors entered the 2019 NBA Finals as a heavy favorite against the Toronto Raptors, but injuries derailed their chance to three-peat. Kevin Durant had suffered a right calf injury in the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets, and didn’t make his debut in the Finals until Game 5. KD started Game 5 on a scoring binge, but eventually suffered a torn Achilles that took him out for the series and all of the following season after he signed with the Brooklyn Nets.
Thompson’s injury happened in the third quart of Game 6 with the series on the line. Klay was diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee. He hasn’t returned to the…