The wait for Klay Thompson as well as Warriors fans is almost over.
On Sunday, Thompson will return to the court for the first time since Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, when he tore an ACL in his left knee.
What was to be expected has grown to nearly two-and-a-half for the 31-year-old Thompson, just a season away. The absence was prolonged due to an Achilles tendon injury during a pickup game shortly before training camp began in November 2020.
Now there’s finally a finish line for that long, harrowing road for Thompson and his fans. Sunday. At home. Against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It would have been 941 days since Thompson injured his knee during the third quarter of the deciding game against the Toronto Raptors on June 13, 2019.
No one had even heard of the coronavirus that day. Donald Trump was the president. What else in the world has happened (or was happening) since Thompson’s last game?
Here is a sample:
– 37 different players have worn the uniforms of Warriors. Stephen Curry, Drummond Green, Andre Iguodala, Damien Lee and Kevon Looney are the only players still on the roster from the team Thompson helped reach the 2019 final.
Thompson has been out for so long that he never got to play against Iguodala as a member of the Miami Heat.
1 song on the Billboard charts Old Town Road by Lil Nas X and featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.
– The Giants have made 28 trades involving 52 players.
– The Raiders and Warriors were still playing in Oakland.
– Curry has scored 529 3-pointers, as well as the NBA’s all-time career leader for 3-pointers. He has made 1,314 attempts from the 3-point limit (and beyond) as “Splash Brother” alone.
– Sunday will mark the 91st match played by the Warriors at the Chase Center. This will be Thompson’s first time playing on the court, although he has spent a lot of time during his downtime, even handling some broadcast duties.
– Thompson had his jersey retired by his alma mater, Washington State.
– The NBA lost several of the game’s prominent ambassadors, including David Stern, Elgin Baylor, Paul Westphal, and Jerry Sloan.
– Lakers legend and Thompson basketball idol Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.
The average price of gasoline in San Francisco was $3.70 per gallon. It’s now about $4.65.
— Rocco the Bulldog has been Thompson’s constant companion in good times and bad, and his fans have remained loyal. Thompson has garnered nearly 1 million votes from fans in the voting for NBA All-Star over the past three years, despite not setting foot on the court. He finished ninth in the Western Conference Guards last season and fourth when this year’s first round of voting was announced this week.
— Drake, whose beloved Raptors beat the Warriors in the 2019 Finals, has had 16 songs in the top-10 since that time, with three going to No.
– The 49ers appeared in their first Super Bowl in seven years.
—James Wiseman, The Warriors 2020 first-round pick, graduated from high school.
– Secret Lives of Pets was the number 1 film in the United States.
– Urban Mayer was hired and fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
– “Splash Brother” Curry – and returned from – missing four months during the 2019-20 season with a significant injury of his own, a broken left arm.
Hallmark Channel has released 118 holiday-themed movies.
– Giants star Buster Posey had an injury-free season that looked like he was washed out, skipping another season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and adopting twin girls, before then announcing his Produced one of the best seasons by a catcher in decades. retirement.
– Fellow NBA star Russell Westbrook has played for three different teams.
Jim Barnett was still the Warriors TV color analyst.
– For the first time since 2012, McRib returned to the menu for a limited time in the middle of Thompson’s second season in the NBA. Twice, actually.
– This was a major time in the Star Wars universe: The Rise of Skywalker was released alongside two new TV series, in addition to the final season of the animated Clone Wars series: The Mandalorian (season two) and The Book of Boba Fett.
– NBA players who retired included: Dwayne Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Vince Carter, Leandro Barbosa, Andrew Bogut, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Pau Gasol.
– Warriors have played 175 matches without Thompson. That absence has caused him to lose at least 3,400 points – he averaged 19.5 points during his career, although he averaged 21.5 points during the 2018–19 season and was just entering his prime.
Had he not been hurt, Thompson almost certainly would have already cracked the top 150 scorer of all time and featured the likes of former Warriors star Tim Hardaway and NBA legends Walt Frazier and Pete Maravich.