Connor Letourneau: Kevon Looney on Klay Thompson returning this season: “If he comes back, great. If he doesn’t, that’s good as well.”
Ever since Klay Thompson tore his left ACL four months ago, the Warriors guard has held out hope that he could return this season in time for a potential NBA playoff run. His coach, however, isn't betting on that timeline. "It's unlikely that he's going to play this year," Steve Kerr recently told NBC Sports Bay Area in an exclusive interview that will air at 1 p.m. PT Tuesday in “NBA Season Tip-Off,” only on the MyTeams app. "So we have to understand that."
Kerr, who tore his ACL in college, believes Thompson will be on the same timeline as those players. "You have to look at it realistically," the Warriors coach said. "I had an ACL [tear] in college, and I missed a whole season. Generally, an ACL for a basketball player is a full-year recovery, and if it's a full year for Klay, that puts them out for the season. “We've kind of left the door open in case the rehab goes perfectly and the doctors say he can go. But the reality is, on April 1, that’s the nine-month mark. ... April versus nine months post-op for an ACL.
Wes Goldberg: Klay Thompson on the court at UCLA helping teammates get up some post-practice shots. pic.twitter.com/tGJBSCbvBl
The four-time All-Star has no plans to sprint back to the Warriors or set any kind of speed record for returning to the NBA after undergoing ACL surgery. “No, I'm going to do what the team says,” Klay said Monday. “I've done my due diligence on rehabs and ACL injuries, and the last thing you want to do is rush back, especially for a player like me who wants to play until he's in his late 30s. I want to play at a high level until that point, too." “As much as it kills me not to be on the court, patience is a virtue, and rushing back would be not very smart.”
Anthony Slater: Bob Myers said Klay Thompson is doing fine, but the Warriors won't give a real update until the All-Star break.
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.”
August 11, 2022 | 2:12 am EDT Update
There’s good reason for pessimism, Durant’s ultimatum to Nets owner Joe Tsai did not light a fire under trade talks. If anything, it made it far less likely a deal gets done in the short term. — why would Boston improve its offer now? It robbed the Nets of leverage. For example, Brooklyn was trying to get Boston to put Smart in the trade, but why would they even consider it now? That said, even without Smart (or Robert Williams III, sources told NBC Sports he is not available), a Celtics offer with Jaylen Brown may be the best one the Nets will see.
Chris Mannix: I had one executive who was not involved in the Durant sweepstakes say to me ‘if the Nets don’t have the stomach to bring him to training camp, they should find a way to do a deal with Boston because they’re not going to get a better player in a deal than Jaylen Brown’.
Ric Bucher: Joe Tsai has already shown he’s willing to play hardball with Kyrie by taking a max extension off the table almost immediately. Now, part of that may be Kyrie’ doing. I’m told he wanted his new contract to guarantee he wouldn’t have to play more than 60 games in a season and would not have to play any back the backs which he apparently referred to as inhumane.
Ric Bucher: I’m told that they wanted to trade Kyrie midway through this past season, and KD told them absolutely not. And they went along with it. Now, I’ve also been told while they’re still good friends, that maybe KD doesn’t value him quite the same way as a teammate. I’m not so sure about that.
Ric Bucher: I’ve been assured that this is correct in spite of another report that says it never happened. And that’s as far as I’ll go with that, too. I’m not going to punch down. Ben Simmons was in a group chat with some of the other teams players. And on it, they asked Ben if he was playing in game four. And not only did he not answer, he dropped out of the chat. Now, as I said, there’s another reporter out there who suggested the event never happened. I’m well aware that that reporter has, let’s say he has vested interests in painting things a certain way. And again, I will leave it at that his comments prompted me to go back and double check with my source. And that source insists that it did indeed happen, and explain why someone might report it another way. So I’m sticking with it.
Patrick Beverley is not one to whine about getting moved from one team to another. The Utah Jazz guard recently addressed claims from fans about how the Minnesota Timberwolves “did him wrong when in fact that sentiment goes completely against how he views and interprets his offseason fate. Here’s Patrick Beverley going full Jay-Z, referencing the GOAT’s “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man” bar in explaining why he is thankful to the Timberwolves franchise.
Still, Caleb Canales’ decision to leave the NBA and coach in Mexico is not without risk. Broadening his experience on an international stage could help him get back to the league and to the job of his dreams, but his leap of faith could also be ignored. Despite a growing stable of foreign-born superstars and the NBA’s expansion to new markets overseas, the league has been slow to embrace coaches with international experience. European champions like David Blatt and Igor Kokoskov came and went last decade, as did successful foreign-born assistants like Etore Messina. “The coaching side, you always have to be ready to adapt and adjust,” Canales says.
While skepticism may remain in some NBA circles regarding the value of international coaching experience, there’s no doubt the league is putting effort in to diversify its coaching ranks overall. As of the 2022 offseason, half the league is led by Black head coaches. Nash and Kerr were born outside the U.S., and Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is Filipino-American. Canales credits the work of David Fogel, executive director of the National Basketball Coaches Association, and Karen Marrero, its director of communications, for things improving over the last few seasons. “They’ve been so creative, and they’ve been so willing to help us, as coaches,” he stresses, highlighting the coaching profiles as well as a newly deployed coaches database the NBCA has set up to assist teams in finding and hiring talent outside the same small coaching pool.