It’s been almost 1,000 days since Klay Thompson played for the Golden State Warriors.
It’s been almost 1,000 days since the Splash Brothers got together in court.
About 1,000 days later the fire at Drummond Green was combined with ice.
Almost 1,000 days of the Golden State Warriors were actually complete.
Thompson will open the season against the Cavaliers at the Chase Center on Sunday. He has returned.
And there are warriors too.
The story of this Warriors season so far has been the astonishing success of the team. Even those who had high hopes from this team did not see this start coming.
Steph Curry, Green, Andre Iguodala, the originals of the 2015 NBA Champions, reunited this year, apparently to reclaim the throne. They’re the warriors as we really know them – only this reboot hasn’t been disappointing. No, Dubs has added some serious reinforcements to the core — excellent support — and, in return, this Warriors team is as deep as ever. So while the Warriors have done their best against the best this season, they have shown that they are once again the team to beat in this league.
The truth is that he didn’t need Thompson to play championship-caliber basketball.
But, honestly, this reunion tour lacked a key member of the band. Yes, they’re back to hit songs, but the music just didn’t sound the same without Thompson.
There’s no question about it: Warriors stars certainly appreciate being number 11 on the court.
Green said on Instagram Friday night that he couldn’t sleep — he was too excited for Saturday’s practice. Posted was a photo of him and Thompson.
Curry has talked a lot about Thompson’s return over the past few months — over the years, in fact — but early in the season, he was asked about the time Thompson would return after this long hiatus, Which was created by a torn ACL and then a torn Achilles tendon.
Curry is as polished on stage as anyone in the league, but in that moment, he finds himself lost in thoughts, sitting in silence.
“I just went there,” Curry said as he pulled himself back. “It’s going to be beautiful… It’s going to be amazing. Whatever adjectives you can put in there — it’s not going to do it justice at all.”
It’s easy to forget because it was a long time ago – my, how many years are these two and a half years old? — But the last time we saw Thompson on the court, he was playing the best basketball of his career. Thompson averaged 26 points on 58 percent shooting beyond the arc in the 2019 NBA Finals, before tearing his ACL in that memorable Game 6.
Those 2019 Warriors, as they finished, said that had Thompson not been injured—had they won Game 6 without him and forced Game 7 in Toronto—they would have won the series, which would have been the Battle of War. Proved.
Maybe it’s just a matter of pride – the downside of having a championship pedigree – but I believe in them.
So while this has never been an explicitly stated goal, it seems to me as though the core of the Warriors is seeking redemption. It may be seriously concerning, but they want to end a job that was left undone due to injuries.
Maybe this is one last storm. Maybe this is the start of another run. Either way, this team knows what it takes to win the championship and that’s what they see in their eyes throughout the season.
Now, Thompson may not be an older version of himself. Certainly not immediately, at least. maybe never.
But that picture-perfect jump shot hasn’t lost an ounce of fluidity and has lived up to the reputation of what people have told him as one of the greatest shooters of all time in the shooter era.
There will be a practice period, a stretch where Thompson will have to adapt to the fact that there is no comparison between a G-League scrimmage and an actual NBA game. Given where the Warriors are as a team right now, they could stand to extend that period to weeks, even months. He has created an exceptional cushion with the success of his opening season.
But Limited Thompson is also an asset to this Warriors team. You can never have a lot of shooting, and while he may lack the side-to-side movement that once made him a typical on-ball defender – we’ll see if he reappears Lets – Golden State will not shut down another smart defender on a team that is loaded with them.
This, simply, has no downside to dubs. Thompson’s addition does no damage to the Warriors and helps raise the team’s already sky-high ceiling to the stratosphere.
He can make them a juggler again.
In many ways, Sunday represents the start of a new season for the Warriors. The preseason – warm-up portion of those 29 wins in 38 games to start the campaign. It was not in vain. far from it. He thought he could play some serious ball during that time.
It’s been a long time coming, but now the real warriors are in the fray for the final three months of the season and the 10-week sprint of the NBA playoffs.
And I can think of an adjective for that: