When news of Klay Thompson tearing his Achilles came down, every basketball fan felt a punch to the gut. Thompson is one of the most dynamic players in the league who also is one of the good guys.
Nobody took the Thompson news harder than Stephen Curry, however. Thompson’s backcourt mate said he broke down in tears when he got the news, he told Marc Spears of The Undefeated.
“He’s the best two-guard in the league,” Curry said. “To get that call was a gut punch for sure. A lot of tears. You don’t really know what to say because a guy like that is having to go through two pretty serious rehabs now. But at the end of the day, we have to have his back. We hope that he is around and a part of what we do through his rehab and staying connected with us.
“He can come back strong. He’s a guy that loves the game so much. He is going to do whatever it takes to get back out there on the floor and be himself. That’s what we hope and the confidence that we have. Two-and-a-half years of rehab is tough for anybody. We’re hoping for the best.”
Thompson missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in the final game of the 2019 NBA Finals. He had worked hard on his recovery then tore the Achilles in his other leg while training for the upcoming season.
Removing Thompson from the picture has removed the Warriors from contender status in the eyes of most — but not Curry. This is a roster with Curry, Draymond Green, 20-point-a-game scorer Andrew Wiggins on the wing, and the team went and traded for Kelly Oubre Jr. to fill in Thompson’s spot. Curry likes the role of underdog.
“We know we can compete with anyone in the league. It’s kind of crazy. We know how great Klay is. Don’t get me wrong. But we hear the chatter. ‘It’s the end of for us. This year is a wash. What are we going to do in the future?’ But we are in the moment right now. It’s kind of refreshing being in that category as guys that are chasing. We know [the Los Angeles Lakers] are the defending champs. We got to beat them. We’re ready for it.”
The Warriors are still a good team — one that could see an MVP-level Curry again back on the court — but Oubre is no Klay Thompson and the Warriors will have a lot to prove.