In the 2019 Finals, Klay Thompson suffered a devastating ACL injury that sidelined him for the entire next season. Months before his return, he suffered an Achilles injury that kept him out even longer.
Now, fully healthy, Thompson is preparing to enter his sixth straight Finals as an active player — and he's not taking it for granted. Speaking to the media ahead of Game 1, he revealed his thoughts on returning to the Finals after everything he has endured:
"I think I'm definitely more reflective now, just because it can be taken away from you like that, one misstep or one bad jump ... Now I just try to find joy in every routine I do."
Thompson, 32, is an 8-year veteran in the NBA. He's a 5x All-Star, 2x All-NBA player, and 3x Champion. Like Steph, he is also one of the greatest shooters ever and is one of those 'glue guys' that helps keep the Warriors together.
It's clear that the rest of his team is relieved that he is finally back:
"Dub Nation knows what he's about," said Stephen Curry on Thompson. What he brings to our team on both ends of the floor and just the heart and determination. We saw what he went through these last two years, every single day rehabbing, grinding, putting his body back on the line to be that guy here. For this moment."
With Klay healthy, Steph back to his MVP form, and Draymond Green still as skilled as ever on the defensive end, it is no surprise that the Warriors have re-claimed their status as the best team in the West.
While the job is not yet finished this year, it's a given that the squad will remain competitive for years to come.