Jan 8, 2022
No longer will Klay Thompson nurse frustration with remaining sidelined on the bench. No longer will Thompson’s source of happiness stem from enjoying the outdoors or his dog.
Thompson returns to the court when the Golden State Warriors (29-9) host the Cleveland Cavaliers (21-17) on Sunday (8:30 ET, NBA TV) at San Francisco’s Chase Center, marking the first time in 941 days the former five-star All-Star will appear in a basketball game after nursing season-ending injuries to his left knee (2019-20) and right Achilles tendon (2020-21). Thompson did not speak following Saturday’s practice, which entailed scrimmaging with his teammates. Warriors coach Steve Kerr joked that he forgot to talk to Thompson about his status after practice before encouraging reporters to monitor their phones moments before Thompson shared the news on social media. Nonetheless, Kerr predicted that Thompson’s return will “be one of the most emotional games that any of us would ever be a part of” both as a former NBA player (1988-2002) and the Warriors’ head coach (2014-present). So much that Kerr likened Thompson’s return to when Michael Jordan returned from his first retirement from the NBA on March 19, 1995 against the Indiana Pacers on the road after spending the past 1½ years playing in the Chicago White Sox’s minor-league system. Kerr played with Jordan in Chicago during the team’s second three-peat run (1996-98). “I have no doubt when Klay walks onto the floor for the first time, I will never forget that game,” Kerr said.