Warriors define what Klay means to them on his 31st birthday

Peninsula Premier Admin

Klay Thompson embodies much of the Warriors’ spirit with his tenacity, toughness and joy.

Despite missing a second consecutive season to injury, Thompson has been around the team, staying involved as this year’s Warriors push through their season without him on the court. On his 31st birthday, the Warriors posted a video featuring the team’s players and coaches saying how they’d define Thompson.

Given Thompson’s position as one of the best-liked players around the league, it’s no surprise his own teammates had glowing words for the star shooting guard.

“Klay is my dog. I look at kind of my career, it’s kind of hard to separate the things that have happened on the court and not put Klay in there,” Steph Curry said. “Our chemistry has taken us to all types of crazy heights that I don’t know if we ever expected.”

“Klay is a brother who will be a part of my life for the rest of my life,” Draymond Green said. “We’ve grown together. We’ve had several ups, we’ve had downs. I don’t think there’s a way that you can mention my name and not mention him.”

“He’s a Hall of Famer for sure,” head coach Steve Kerr said.

Thompson got a little birthday present Monday, as he is no longer wearing a walking boot in his Achilles recovery, Kerr noted.

“He embodies what it means to be a Warrior,” Green said. “Before these last two injuries now, you couldn’t do anything to keep Klay off the floor.”

Green told a story from the 2019 NBA Finals, when the Warriors faced the Toronto Raptors.

“He pulled a hamstring and I said ‘Aw, big fella, they’ve done everything they can to get you out of these games and you’ve kept playing. I don’t think you can get away from this one,’” Draymond Green said.

“And sure enough, he came back for Game 6 and was going ballistic.”

Of course, Warriors fans know what happened next: With just over 2 minutes left in the third quarter, Thompson went down awkwardly after being fouled on a dunk attempt. He limped back toward the Warriors’ locker room, only to turn around.

“The moment Klay walks back out onto the court will be one of the great moments of the Warriors franchise,” Kerr said.

He hit both free throws and finished with a game-high 30 points despite missing the final 14 minutes after tearing his ACL. Thompson missed all of 2019-20 and prepared to return this season before tearing his Achilles tendon in November.

Without Thompson on the floor, the Warriors have missed not only his shooting and defense, but also his joy, a signature element of the team’s ethos.

“He kind of sets the tone of the locker room, he sets the culture,” Kevon Looney said. “He’s like the perfect Warrior. He plays with joy, he plays with fun.”

“Just a fun-loving guy that would play the game of basketball no matter if he got paid or not,” Mike Brown said.

Curry spoke for all Warriors fans looking forward to a 2022 title contendter:  “I can’t wait for him to get back.”

Contributed by local news sources

Next Post

Steph Curry scores 32 but turnovers sink Warriors in loss to Spurs

Stephen Curry was bottled up most of the night and the Warriors were sunk by turnovers as they lost to the Spurs, 105-100, in San Antonio Monday. With the loss, the Warriors (12-12) drop to 1-2 on this current four-game trip through Texas and are .500 for the first time […]