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Draymond Green Says He Felt Guilty For Not Being There When Klay Thompson Tore His Achilles: "Had I Been There, Would This Have Happened?"

Draymond Green Says He Felt Guilty For Not Being There When Klay Thompson Tore His Achilles: "Had I Been There, Would This Have Happened?"

On Sunday, 5x NBA All-Star Klay Thompson played his first game since the 2019 Finals, when he went down with a torn ACL.

Over the next year, Thompson would rehab his knee and work towards a return, pushing his body to the limit in an attempt to regain his former strength.

Looking back, Klay says that it was the rush of this process (doing too much too soon) that led to his Achilles tearing just weeks before he was able to make his official debut.

That second injury was, arguably, even more soul-crushing than the first, and it's something that still haunts Warriors players today. Speaking to Undefeated, long-time Warriors forward Draymond Green explained the guilt he felt about the whole situation after he canceled on a pickup game they were supposed to play together.

(via The Undefeated)

Green told The Undefeated that after the 2019-20 season, he and Thompson were playing pickup ball regularly in the offseason with other NBA players at a gym in Los Angeles, where Green has an offseason home. On Nov. 18, 2020, Green texted Thompson to tell him he couldn’t play with him that day because he was leaving for a family vacation that night. It was also the same date as the 2020 NBA draft, when the Warriors would end up selecting James Wiseman with the second overall pick.

“I had texted Klay 20 minutes before Bob Myers called just saying something like, ‘Yo, I’m going out of town with my [wife]. Let me know the next time you’re going to be there,’ ” Green told The Undefeated. “And then I get that call and I’m like, ‘Had I gone, would this have happened?’ I was just feeling a side of guilt and I was crushed. I just texted him, everything was fine and I was supposed to play basketball with him. It’s just not possible. …

“I remember it changed everything. Everything. It was interesting, the timing of it. But the thing I felt the most was just a sense of guilt. Had I shown up, would this have happened?”

In the aftermath of the injury, it's understandable why Draymond would feel some guilt. The truth is, however, none of it is his fault, or anyone else's for that matter.

Freak things happen in the NBA, and sometimes without any rhyme or reason.

The good news is, Thompson is back and seems just as good as he's ever been. In his first game back, he shocked the world with an impressive 17-point performance on 3-8 shooting from three.

Hopefully, his return will give the Warriors the boost they need to reclaim their place at the top of the West.