VIdeo of Klay Thompson shooting the ball with ease, and moving great on the court gave hope to fans waiting for his return. However, Steve Kerr remains coy about it and even claimed the sharpshooter’s return is still up in the air.
Klay Thompson’s return
Thompson’s been away for almost two seasons. In NBA terms, it’s virtually an eternity given how fast roster changes happened in the league. Jimmy Butler was still a Sixer, and Westbrook was playing for OKC when Klay last played. Not only is JB in Miami now, but he has also played in the Finals.
Meanwhile, in Golden State, the team got booted out of the play-in tournament without Thompson. In contrast, the Warriors are leading the league in win-loss record sans the other half of the Splash brothers this season. His return, whenever that will be, will only make the Golden State more powerful and the frontrunners for a Finals appearance.
When news surfaced that the sidelined player would make his return before Christmas, it gave hope to fans and probably brought chills down the spine of every NBA team. The Warriors can certainly afford to provide Klay all the time he needs to make sure he’s fully fit and ready when he comes back.
In a report from Shams Charania and Anthony Slater for The Athletic, ex-NBA player Dante Exum played with Thompson during scrimmages and observed the shooting guard is getting better at five-on-five play. However, coach Kerr shot down the rumors.
The team is in no rush to bring him back. Jordan Poole is playing well, Andrew Wiggins is getting comfortable in his role with the team, Gary Payton II is a surprise addition, and both Draymond Green and Steph Curry are back to their usual selves.
Why Kerr wants Klay’s return a secret
Kerr could be protecting Klay and the team from the unwanted burden of added expectations from fans. The Warriors are finally healthy in a very long time, and when Thompson returns, he will complete the Big 3 of GSW once again. Being snubbed from the greatest players list of the NBA for its 75th anniversary only added fuel to Thompson’s fire this year.
The fans know that the championship window is closing fast, and management probably thinks so, too. So winning it all this year is the main priority. Not in the next two years, not next year, but now.
When the other half of Splash brothers returns, Steph Curry’s historical season may be affected. Given his unselfishness, Steph would give way for Klay to get his shots and rediscover his rhythm on the court. The sooner Thompson gets his confidence and grooves back, the better for Golden State.
Steve Kerr knows what he’s doing. Part of the coach’s job is to protect his team and make the other teams guess their next move. The most important thing is that everyone’s healthy come May and June. The Warriors are back, and the NBA is better for it.