Klay Thompson reflects on ACL injury before crucial Game 5

Klay Thompson attacks the basket in the 2022 NBA Finals
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) shoots against the Boston Celtics during the first half of Game 2 of basketball’s NBA Finals in San Francisco, Sunday, June 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn, Pool)

Today marks three years since Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson tore his ACL playing in Game 6 of the NBA finals against the Toronto Raptors. They would eventually go on to lose the series, which many have connected back to the injury

With Klay out, the Warriors faced a huge challenge on how they would bounce back in the following season. However, Thompson suffered another injury in November of 2020, tearing his Achilles tendon as he prepared to make a return from the ACL injury. 

Klay Thompson practices with the Warriors
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) warms up during NBA basketball practice in San Francisco, Wednesday, June 1, 2022. The Warriors are scheduled to host the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

With both injuries happening so close together, Thompson did not step foot on a court for a total of 941 days.

During that time, the Warriors did not make a Finals appearance in either the 2020 or 2021 seasons. However, with Klay Thompson bouncing back from his injuries and making his first appearance on the court in January,  the Warriors have cruised back to another Finals appearance.

With the series against Boston tied 2-2, Thompson is hopeful that he and his team members will pull out a win to redeem themselves from coming so close in 2019.

With Game 5 of the series set to take place tonight, Thompson had some time to reflect on the 2019 finals and this year’s finals.

In an interview with ESPN, Klay shared what went through his mind on that night of Game 6 years ago: “I thought I might have sprained something in my knee. When you’re in the championship and you’re playing in front of our fans, your adrenaline is so high you kind of disregard anything that makes sense.” 

Now going into Game 5, Thompson still has the thought of the previous Game 6 in his mind but appears to be more driven to pull off a championship win and make up for the last time the Warriors were in the finals.  “I want to win by any means necessary. I don’t care how ugly or pretty it is. Let’s just win and protect home court.” 

With this matchup still being anyone’s game, the Warriors may be able to set the tone for the remainder of the series tonight on their home court. With the Celtics appearing to run out of steam at the end of Game 4 and Jayson Tatum’s points per game taking some hits, the Warriors may be able to take this series to the end if they can pull off a win tonight.  

For more NBA Finals coverage like this Klay Thompson article, visit amNY Sports

More from around NYC