Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors says he would like to play for Team USA in the 2020 Olympics. One problem: Thompson should not play high-level basketball at all, not for two years. At least that’s what the science says. A paper presented by Dr. Tim Hewett, a consultant who spent the bulk of his career studying the biomechanics of the knee for the Mayo Clinic and as the director of Ohio State’s Sports Health and Performance Institute, and Dr. Christopher Nagelli of the Mayo Clinic, finds that athletes who suffer ACL tears should not return to action for two years.
“Please do share that with Klay,” Dr. Hewett, who has consulted with NBA trainers in the past, told Heavy.com. “This is not my opinion. People say to me, ‘Well, that is your opinion, there are other opinions.’ No, I deal in science and I deal in fact. People don’t like to hear it but it does not change the facts, and that facts are that you’re at risk for re-injury before two years and you won’t be the same player in the first year.”
“I think about that every day,” Thompson said. He sat straight up and shook his head. “That’s just the humbling part of sports — when you feel like you’re at your best, something traumatic can happen. But I honestly felt like I was at the peak of my NBA career up to that point. I was at my best. The way I was shooting the ball, the way I was playing defense. I felt like I was one of the best players out there. In past series, or Finals, you know, I’ve been able to defer. But in that series, I felt like I was just, like, as close to unstoppable as I’ve ever been.”
The worst part hasn’t even come yet. Thompson knows it. “Honestly, we’ll see in two weeks when I see my teammates out there playing,” Thompson said of the difficulty of rehab. “But, as of right now, it’s easy to lock in and focus on my rehab every day because that’s all I have. I don’t have games. I don’t have to go to the arena. But when that starts, I know it’s going to be a very tough challenge. It’s going to be really hard.”
Despite their intentions, Curry and Thompson playing in the Olympics can’t be considered a lock. If the Warriors somehow went on a deep run into the postseason, it would be their sixth straight year doing so. Turning around and going to Japan to play more might be untenable. Thus, an early postseason exit might be required for their hopes to be fulfilled. Plus, Thompson’s availability will be contingent upon his recovery from a torn ACL.
Mychal Thompson recently talked about his son's rehab from a ruptured ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider podcast. "He's walking normally and he's very optimistic and enthusiastic about getting back late next season," Thompson said. Thompson said Klay probably won't be on the court doing full-court drills until late December or January. That would fall on the early side of the typical recovery period for ACL surgery, which is six to nine months.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the procedure on Thompson at the Kerlan Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, and Thompson said he is on track to return to the court at some point next season. “That’s my goal,” Thompson said. “I doubt I’ll be back before the All-Star break, but I want to be back this season.”
“My season is obviously going to start a little differently,” Thompson said. “I’m going to be on offseason mode for a little bit until I can run again. With Kevin leaving and DeMarcus leaving and losing Andre and Shaun, the parity in the league is back. Everyone was trying to catch up to the Warriors the past five years, but now teams have closed the gap, if not taken that leap, so for us getting D’Angelo was huge because in my absence, he’s a proven All-Star and a 20-point guy and great play maker.”
Klay Thompson said he doubted he would be back before the All-Star break. "I've heard varying opinions about, especially medically, I don't want to rush it 'cause I want to play until I'm 38, 39, 40 years old," Thompson said. "That's my plan, especially because the way I can shoot the ball. I would love to see the floor this season. I don't know when that is."
"I knew I did something. But I've never had the severity of an ACL injury or an injury that bad," Thompson told ESPN's Cari Champion in an interview during a "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" promotional event in Los Angeles. "So me personally, I didn't think it was that bad initially. My adrenaline was so high being Game 6, whatever. I thought I sprained my knee; that's all I thought it was. But when I went back to the locker room, it swelled up a lot, didn't feel right. It's just not a good feeling when you feel helpless and the team's out there competing."
“We obviously had bumps in the road, but nothing as traumatic as what me and Kevin went through. So it was humbling, but the Warriors showed their loyalty and their respect for me, offering me that five-year deal," Thomson said of his new $190 million deal. "Jumped on that as soon as I could, just because the history with this team and the franchise it would be so hard to leave. And the feeling of, you know, unfinished business, getting that close in the Finals, or to the fourth championship -- tasting it -- just being out of reach. It's the pain of sports, but it's what keeps me motivated."
Logan Murdock: Warriors GM Bob Myers said there’s no update on Klay Thompson’s ACL other than surgery. Myers said he’ll visit Thompson in Los Angeles soon.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Agent Greg Lawrence emphasizes recovery window of 5-to-7 months after Thompson's ACL surgery is tilted toward back end of that timetable: "While we are optimistic on a return as quickly as possible, Klay and the team are committed to taking the necessary time with the process."
He started to make his way back to the Golden State locker room, but as you all remember ... the machine returned to the court. "Somebody went out and grabbed us in the tunnel and said, 'If he doesn't shoot these free throws, he can't come back,' Warriors GM Bob Myers explained Thursday on 95.7 The Game. "And Klay didn't even wait for an answer. He just walked back on the court.
"And I grabbed him and I said, 'Listen, man. If you're gonna shoot these free throws...' -- because we didn't know what it was at that time, we had no idea, he hadn't been examined -- and I said, 'We don't know what this is, shoot the free throws, don't move. Just shoot the free throws and stay there.' "[Klay said] 'OK, all right. I got it.' [He] shoots the free throws and starts running back (laughter). I said, 'What are you doing?' Maybe that's my own fault for trusting. "But that's the competitor in the guy."
Andre Iguodala: “I'm confident in us. Klay will be back in February I hope. He's a fast healer. We're going to have another run at it. It's not over."
Ryan Wolstat: Green on Klay Thompson injury: Said he thought Klay would go for a one-handed dunk. When he saw it was two thought he could get the block and got a piece of it. Thought it was pretty clean but knows that's a fair time to call a foul. Warriors told him they know he isn't dirty.
Michael Grange: Danny Green says Draymond and Iguodala told him they knew the play on Klay Thompson was clean, not intentional; has reached out to Klay through channels.
“Klay is such a polished specimen with his athleticism and his strength, I literally think this will be a small bump in the road for him for the next nine to 12 months as he rehabilitates it,” said Dr. Daniel Kharrazi, an orthopedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles who serves as the team doctor for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. “He should be able to get back to how he was before. “I know people are freaking out about his career, but I don’t think it’s going to affect his long-term outcome at all. I think he’s going to be back doing exactly what he was doing as soon as he’s done rehabbing his knee.”
The moments left Mychal Thompson feeling sleepless. It did not tamper his optimism, though. His son, Klay, tore an ACL in his left knee and walked out of the arena on crutches. Then, the Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, hardly the ending they envisioned in their final game at Oracle Arena after winning three NBA titles in the past four years. That only leads to two questions. First, how will this affect Thompson when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 30?
“You have to ask Joe Lacob that one,” Thompson said about the Warriors’ majority owner. “That’s up to the Warriors. But Klay will be back. It’s unfortunate, but it’s kind of a routine injury. Nobody wants it. Guys are able to come back fully recovered from this injury.”
Second, did this mark the end of the Warriors’ dynasty? Not only do the Warriors have questions about Thompson. Kevin Durant is recovering from a surgically repaired right Achilles tendon. The Warriors otherwise have limited purchasing power and a No. 28 pick to bolster their team. Nonetheless, Thompson said that “Klay and Kevin will both be back to wreak havoc among the league.” Thompson also added “the Warriors are far from done.” As for Durant’s free agency? “I always have faith he’ll stay. This is the second-best organization you can play for. Of course, you know what the best one is,” said Thompson who played for the Showtime Lakers and remains a radio analyst for the team’s flagship station. “Why leave a great situation like Golden State? These guys are still going to be championship contenders for years to come.”
Connor Letourneau: Per his father, Klay Thompson will undergo surgery "as soon as possible" on his torn ACL in Los Angeles.
Thompson, who emerged as a vocal leader during the NBA Finals, tore his left ACL late in the third quarter of the Warriors’ 114-110 loss Thursday in Game 6 that gave the Toronto Raptors their first championship. Thompson is expected to miss up to nine to 10 months, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
“Even though Golden State had some tough injuries the last game and this game, they showed how much heart they have,” Raptors center Marc Gasol said. “What it means to be a championship team. They didn’t make any excuses. They kept playing.” Afterward, Warrior Stephen Curry sat at his locker appearing to be more pained about the team’s injuries than its three-peat hopes and days at Oracle Arena coming to an end. Most of his concern centered on the health of his fellow All-Stars Durant and Thompson. “It’s not good. Klay and KD are two dudes who are supposed to be walking into the best summer of their lives,” Curry told The Undefeated. “It was taken away from them just like that. It’s tough. It is tough. Two really good dudes.”
Jordan Bell: No man!!! This lost hurt but hearing about this killed me. Prayers up to you bro @KlayThompson
Adrian Wojnarowski: Golden State’s Klay Thompson has suffered a torn ACL in his left knee, his agent Greg Lawrence tells ESPN.
Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr said Klay Thompson told him on his way off the court: "Just a two minute rest and I'll be ready." Next thing Kerr heard Klay was done for the night, crutching out of the arena.
Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr: "What matters is Kevin Durant is going to miss next season with an Achilles tear. What matters is Klay suffered a knee injury. We'll know more later. But it's just brutal, just brutal what these guys have had to deal with."
Golden State's run of injuries to star players continued in the third quarter of Game 6 when star guard Klay Thompson's left knee appeared to buckle in an awkward landing after a contested dunk attempt with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter.
Thompson remained down for a few minutes in significant pain, clutching at his leg. He was helped into the tunnel and headed for the locker room, but came back to shoot the free throws to put the Warriors ahead 85-80.
Blake Murphy: Klay Thompson says he was sore after Game 4 but feels great. Estimates he’s in the 80-90% range. More bothered by the loss than his hamstring.
Joe Vardon: Klay Thompson took the court just now to warm up, and the assembling Bay Area crowd let him know he’s appreciated. His streak of 120 consecutive playoff games was snapped in Game 3 by a bum hamstring
Connor Letourneau: For what it's worth, Klay Thompson is also listed as questionable tonight. Warriors expect him to play.
Meanwhile, big man Kevon Looney (costal cartilage fracture) might not be done for in this series after all. Thompson’s return was the most foreseeable, given the shooting guard’s durability and stubbornness against missing games. He was straining at Kerr’s and the medical staff’s leash Wednesday, even as he understood their safe-rather-than-sorry approach. “It just sucks missing a Finals game,” Thompson said. “It's the NBA Finals and this is what we work our whole lives for. But I would rather miss one game than an entire series. So, it wasn't the end of the world.”
Mark Medina: Klay on if he feels pain free with his left hamstring: “We’ll see.” But Klay add he’s encouraged with all the progress he’s made after injuring his hamstring in Game 2
Josh Lewenberg: Klay said he knew last night that he would play in Game 4, needed those extra couple days but feels good today and doesn't think he'll be limited. "I just can't wait to get out here tomorrow."
John Gonzalez: Klay Thompson said he wanted to play Game 3. Wasn’t his call. Said he’s good to go for Game 4.
Mark Medina: Steve Kerr said Klay Thompson plans to play tomorrow in Game 4
Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson will return for Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday, league sources told Yahoo Sports, after Golden State made the difficult decision to hold him out right before before Wednesday’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. Thompson, who is nursing a left hamstring injury he suffered in Game 2, lobbied management and the coaching staff to let him play.
Thompson was a game-time decision on Wednesday, but the Warriors' staff ultimately decided to hold him out, despite the All-Star swingman pushing to play. "The whole point was to not risk a bigger injury that would keep him out of the rest of the series," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "So that was the decision we made, and I feel very comfortable with it. Never would have forgiven myself if I played him tonight and he had gotten hurt. So you live with the decision you make, you make a wise decision, the wisest one you can, and then you live with it and move forward. "So the good thing is, Klay has done well the last two days; now he has a couple more days to heal, and hopefully he'll be out there on Friday."
A few members of the organization expect Thompson to return for Game 4 on Friday. If he’s healthy and ready to go, he’d be an instant boon. “He’s one of the best two-way players in the history of the league. Just him not being there defensively hurts us as well,” Cook said. “He has a body to him at all times and everybody has to know where he is at all times, so it opens up a lot for Steph and Draymond (Green)’s pick-and-roll and everyone else. We have to learn. We haven’t played without Klay in a while, so it was new. But no excuses. We had our chances.”
Nick Friedell: Kerr is hopeful that with a couple more says rest Klay will be ready for Game 4 on Friday. Kerr said he never would have forgiven himself if Klay injured his hamstring even more and couldn’t finish series.
Tim Bontemps: “That’s the gist of it all,” Kerr says, when asked of the possibility of Klay making the injury worse by playing. Says if there is, Klay will not play.
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr on what goes into deciding whether Klay Thompson will play tonight: "If there's risk, we would not play him. He got some shots this morning, and got some running on the court, so that's a good sign."
Eric Smith: "If I can be out there, even at 80 per cent, I still think I can be effective..." - Thompson
Melissa Rohlin: Klay Thompson said he’s a game-time decision for tomorrow, but added that it would be hard for him to see himself not playing. pic.twitter.com/MnHFAUAUMq
Nick Friedell: Klay: “It will be a game time decision but I really want to be out there.” Says the pain level has gone down since Sunday night.
Ben Golliver: Warriors’ Steve Kerr on Klay Thompson (hamstring) for Finals Game 3 vs. Raptors: “He says he’s feeling well. He says he’ll be ready to go. We have to determine if that’s a risk. If there’s a risk we’d rather give him the next couple of days to heal. It’s literally day to day.”
Shams Charania: MRI on Golden State Warriors All-Star Klay Thompson confirmed a hamstring strain and he will likely be questionable for Game 3, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Thompson will test body over next two days with hope to play Wednesday night.
An MRI on Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson's left hamstring was delayed because the team arrived back in Oakland later than anticipated Monday morning, so the results won't be known until later in the evening.
Thompson left Sunday night's game in the fourth quarter with left hamstring tightness. Further testing was scheduled to determine the severity of the injury, although Thompson said after the game he expected to play in Wednesday's Game 3. The Warriors' charter carrying players and the coaching staff left Toronto after the game but didn't arrive back in Oakland until after 4 a.m. Pacific Time.
Thompson was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, which should help the Warriors better gauge his status for Game 3. What remains unquestioned is that Thompson, who still had a slight limp when leaving Scotiabank Arena on Sunday, will do everything in his power to be available.
Asked for an update on Thompson, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said, “Klay said he'll be fine, but Klay could be half-dead and he would say he would be fine.”
Dr. Rick Celebrini, Golden State’s director of sports medicine and performance, was to spend Monday and Tuesday trying to decipher the severity of Thompson’s tweaked hamstring. When discussing the injury with Thompson, Celebrini is well-aware of his patient’s tendency to downplay the pain he feels.
Golden State Warriors All-Star Klay Thompson, who suffered a left hamstring injury in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ NBA Finals Game 2 victory Sunday night, told Yahoo Sports that he doesn’t expect to miss any time. “No, I don’t see myself missing Game 3,” Thompson told Yahoo Sports. Thompson led the Warriors with 25 points and carried them in the first half as they evened the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors with a 109-104 victory. “I’ll be fine,” Thompson told Yahoo Sports. “That was a good win for us tonight.”
Mark Medina: I caught up with Klay Thompson on the way out of the arena. Klay about his hamstring: “I’m good. It’s just tight.” Does Klay think he’ll play in Game 3? Klay: “Honestly, it’s hard to say. Thank God we got a couple of days off. But I think I’ll be good to go.”
August 13, 2022 | 7:37 pm EDT Update
The Warriors can pass on an extension for Poole if they choose, allowing him to become a restricted free agent next summer. If he gets there, one league executive speculates that we can expect at least one team with cap space to be ready to pounce. “I’d watch out for the Magic to be ready to make an offer if he’s restricted, knowing there’s a good chance Golden State is not going to match,” one Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports.
“LeBron James has not done enough as a Laker to be on that list,” Jefferson said. “Bron been there now — this is his fourth season, right? They’ve been in there four seasons. Two years, they haven’t made the postseason. One year, they lost in the first round. And one year, they won a championship.”
Memphis at Golden State is another Christmas Day game on the NBA’s preliminary schedule for the 2022-23 season that is on course to be made official this coming week, league sources tell me. More NBA from me: http://marcstein.Substack.com
August 13, 2022 | 5:50 pm EDT Update
“It was just like a shock, but not too much of a shock,” Will Barton said when asked his reaction to the trade. “It was a shock in that, obviously, I had been there eight years, did so much there together, so it’s always shocking when you’ve been somewhere for so long and you’re moving on. But, at the same time, I embraced it, I’m welcoming a new chapter.”
Will Barton doesn’t think about what could’ve been in Denver anymore. Now about six weeks removed from his trade to Washington, Barton doesn’t dwell on departing a contending team or leaving a starting unit featuring the back-to-back MVP. “That time and that chapter is over with,” Barton told The Denver Post over Zoom. “I don’t think about what could’ve been, what happened. I’ll wait until my career ...
Serbia defeated Montenegro 82-73 in a game played without spectators. It was the first test for the Serbs with Nikola Jokic scoring 16 points, Vasilije Micic adding 13 and Nikola Milutinov 12 points. Nemanja Bjelica played but did not score. Marco Simonovic and Bojan Dubljevic scored 17 points for the losing side.
Because Jaylen Brown is now two years into his original four-year extension, he’s eligible this summer to sign an extension that is three years years in length. During the 2023 offseason, Brown would be able to add four years via Veteran Extension. Because he’s not currently on a Designated Rookie Extension, Brown isn’t eligible to extend for the maximum amount possible. (At least not yet. We’ll cover that next!). That means Brown is eligible to do a standard Veteran Extension. And therein lies the rub.