In the midst of all the hype the Golden State Warriors had over the past five seasons, Klay Thompson proved he’s the definition of a team player. He always had the ability to be the face of almost any NBA franchise, though he did what had to be done to win, remaining selfless during that time.
Steph Curry was the face of the Warriors, while Klay was just a splash bro.
With Draymond Green, they were the “Big 3” and after Kevin Durant signed, they were the “Big 4” with Durant somewhat taking over as face of the franchise. Green was still known as the best defensive player on the team but Thompson went from being the second best offensive option to the third best, behind two of the greatest offensive players of all-time. The 29-year-old never seemed to be bothered, just continuing to play his game – and Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals was another one of those nights where Thompson just did his thing.
He had 30 points with just a few minutes left in the third quarter and as he went up for a fast break dunk, he was fouled by Toronto Raptors shooting guard Danny Green. As Thompson came down, he landed awkwardly on his left foot and was immediately in pain. Curry was visibly upset because it didn’t look good as his running mate was being helped to the locker room during an elimination game for the Warriors.
As Thompson was halfway to the locker room with each one of his arms around a teammate, an assistant coach yelled that if he didn’t shoot his free throws he is officially done, so Thompson turned around and walked himself back to the court on his own. The crowd erupted when it saw an obviously injured Thompson coming back out to take his free throws. Thompson, favoring his injured leg, hit both shots and then ran to the other end of the court to play defense, though DeMarcus Cousins intentionally fouled a Raptors player to get Thompson out of the game.
Thompson was visually upset as he knew he was hurt but didn’t want to leave the floor, never wanting to give up on his teammates. But after an MRI, team doctors discovered he had a torn ACL. Without Durant, who tore his achilles in Game 5, and Thompson, the Warriors were doomed. Now, both Durant and Thompson are up for free agency this off-season but the question is, are they going to leave the team, marking the end of an era?
The Warriors have stated they want to re-sign both for five-year extensions. Kevin Durant is in a difficult situation since he just tore his achilles and that is an injury that requires a substantial amount of rehabilitation. In all likelihood, he will miss the entire 2019-2020 season but I would not be surprised if he signs somewhere other than Golden State, with all signs currently pointing to the New York Knicks. I believe Thomspon will re-sign with the Warriors, because he loves this team too much and he doesn’t want to start over somewhere else and be the face of their franchise. Rumors are swirling, however, that several teams could be in play for the five-time All-Star, including the Los Angeles Lakers.