10 reasons Warriors fans love the star

When Klay Thompson takes the field for the Warriors at Chase Center on Sunday evening, it won’t be just him coming back. An indelible part of the soul of the team, his connect with his fans, his commitment to the game, his joy in playing – it will all come back with him.

Given that Stephen Curry, the star of the team, has a generational talent. That his mouth is Drummond Green, that he has Kevin Durant and he has a celebrity coach, Thompson’s place in the heart of the fanbase and in the Warriors outfit is remarkable.

The bond between Thompson and the team and its fans has only been deepened by two career-threatening injuries during his 2 1/2 years of rehabilitation. It will be clear when his name is announced as a start, if it can be heard throughout the thunder.

“Whether you refer to it as a close friend or teammate or someone playing for your favorite team, basketball misses kale,” former teammate Zaza Pachulia said this week. “Basketball needs Kel on the court. I can’t wait to see him, feel the energy, and celebrate his return.”

The first physical blow came on June 13, 2019. Game 6 of the NBA Finals will be remembered forever, when the Warriors lost Kel, lost the championship, lost Durant, and lost their grip of league dominance.

After 17 months of rehab for a torn ACL in his left knee, and days before the start of training camp in November 2020, Thompson tore the Achilles tendon in his right leg. Those war-torn legs, now 32, will carry them to the floor.

“I’ll cry,” said Warriors fan Sharona Good. “His first basket will be so special. I’m going to dance and cry around my room.”