What Happened to Klay Thompson?

March 16, 2024

It’s been almost three years since Klay Thompson crumpled to the ground under the basket in Game 6 of the NBA Finals with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. And just two years since he tore his right Achilles tendon in a pickup basketball game at a Marin County gym. Thompson came back from both injuries, helping Golden State win a fourth straight championship last summer. But this season, he’s not the same player, and that’s a concern for the Warriors.

His shooting numbers are down, he’s missing more than half of his free throws and he’s not creating the kind of value with his passing that he used to as a second-team All-Defense wing. And if the Dubs want to go deep in the playoffs, they may need to consider reducing his role and experimenting with young players like Brandin Podziemski and Moses Moody.

But it’s not easy for Thompson to watch some of the biggest moments of the Warriors’ games from the bench. He’s one of the best shooters and defenders in the league, and it has been a challenge for him to adjust to watching from the sidelines. This is a story of his recovery from those two major injuries and how he’s finding new ways to be effective on the court. In the process, he’s also learning how to cope with the disappointment of watching from a distance as his longtime partner in Golden State, Steph Curry, leads the team to another title chase.

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