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“If he can get back to being himself, I know I can as well.” - Klay Thompson on getting inspired by Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant's amazing return from injury inspired his former teammate.
Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant

Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant

Klay Thompson is well-known around the league for his ability to be a lights-out shooter from deep. Besides two injury-ridden seasons, Klay has been a part of the Golden State Warriors roster since the 2011 NBA draft – winning four titles with the Dubs. He's a five-time All-Star with a career scoring average of 19.5 points, shooting 45.8% from the field and 41.7% from the deep.

Injuries have slowed his progress, but Thompson is still confident in his abilities.

Thompson's 4th NBA title

Thompson made his return from injury mid-way through the 2021-22 season and took his time to settle in. The Warriors were already in a strong position, with Steph Curry's shooting barrage leading the team. Meanwhile, Klay played in 32 regular season games, averaging 20.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists – quite impressive for a comeback.

Klay also stepped it up in the playoffs, making an effective contribution, and scoring more than 30 points on three occasions. Additionally, Thompson is backing himself to perform at an All-Star level in the upcoming season.

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"I thought I had a great playoffs. I didn't shoot the ball as well as I wanted to in the finals, but I made big shots when it mattered most," Klay said on SiriusXM NBA Radio. "And I know I'm going to be back to All-Star form."

If Kevin Durant can, then I can

Like Thompson, Kevin Durant was also sidelined during the 2019-20 season, nursing the same Achilles injury. Although Thompson had to deal with two different injuries, he sees Durant's strong return as an assurance that he can bounce back too.

Durant returned from injury and had an effective season, taking the Brooklyn Nets to the second round of the 2021 playoffs. He furthered his output last season, averaging 29.9 points in 55 games – showing no signs of slowing down.

"Know who actually inspired me the most is Kevin Durant because Kevin went through the same thing. And he dang near led the league in scoring. So, if he can get back to being himself, I know I can as well," Klay affirmed.

Given an entire summer where Klay didn't have to rehab, it will be interesting to see his output during the 2022-23 season. The Warriors will need the best version of Thompson to improve their chances of defending their championship.

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