Thursday, December 8 2022

Klay reveals first emotions after Dubs return to Finals originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The road back to this moment was a long one for Klay Thompson.

Nine hundred and forty one days between games.

Thirty one months away from the game he loves.

Two major lower leg injuries, surgeries and grueling rehabs.

Now, Thompson and the Warriors are headed back to the NBA Finals after eliminating the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday night at Chase Center.

Thompson scored a game-high 32 points and made eight 3-pointers in the close-out game.

After everything he has been through, Thompson shared his initial emotions in a postgame interview with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke.

“Just pure elation, just a lot of gratitude, humility,” Thompson told Burke. “It’s just, I don’t know, any word for ‘happy,’ any synonym for ‘happy’ because it’s just so hard to get here. There’s been so many great players, some of the best ever to play that haven’t even played in the Finals. That’s how competitive the NBA is, the best league in the world. Now that we’re back, it’s incredible. Very happy for Dub Nation because they sent me so many nice messages the last couple of years, so encouraging.”

The last time the Warriors were at this point, Thompson tore his left ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. That injury, combined with Kevin Durant’s torn Achilles and subsequent departure, was the beginning of two long years for the franchise.

Steph Curry suffered a hand injury just a few games into the 2019-20 season. The Warriors won just 15 games, finishing with the worst record in the NBA that season.

Then Thompson torn his right Achilles as he was getting close to returning from the ACL injury before the 2020-21 season.

The Warriors managed to bounce back last season, only to miss the playoffs when they were eliminated by the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference play-in tournament.

They entered this season with a lot of question marks, notably, what would Thompson look like when he finally returned after two and a half years removed from his last game. But as soon as he triumphantly returned to the lineup on Jan. 9, Draymond Green suffered a back injury and missed two months.

As soon as Green returned on March 14, Steph Curry sustained sprained left foot, forcing him to miss the final month of the regular season.

The Warriors fell to the No. 3 seed in the West and entered the playoffs not knowing how their normal rotation would play together.

But the roster gelled quickly and the Warriors dispatched the Denver Nuggets in five games, grinded out a spicy six-game series win over the Grizzlies and then knocked out the Mavericks in five games.

Now, nearly three years after suffering his ACL injury, Thompson gets to play in the Finals again.

“I am on cloud nine, Kerith, and just incredible,” Thompson told Burke. “Everybody in this organization knows what we’re been through the last few years and I was thinking about the days I was in Santa Cruz or I was on the rehab table. I dreamt of this moment. And we were written off by a lot of experts, quote unquote but I knew we had it in us. And we’re going to celebrate this tonight but we still want the whole thing.”

RELATED: Klay drops classic Klay joked during postgame speech

Four more wins against either the Boston Celtics or the Miami Heat and Thompson will get to hold the Larry O’Brien Trophy again.

Source: Yahoo Sports

Previous

NHL Rink Wrap: Oilers win ‘Battle of Alberta,’ Hurricanes still perfect at home

Next

Trevor Story hits his seventh home run in his last seven games

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

FOX Bet Super 6: Win Terry’s $100K prize in Week 14 NFL Sunday Challenge

By Erica Renee DavisSpecial to FOX Sports It’s that time of year, folks. You’ve swiped your card an absurd amount of times for seasonal Starbucks drinks. Your calendar is filled with holiday parties, and you need to buy a Secret Santa present for every single one of them. And you’ve said yes to buying something […]

Read More

MLB Winter Meetings return with prospect of pandemonium on the horizon

SAN DIEGO — It’s another gorgeous, serene day in San Diego, but stroll inside the Manchester Grand Hyatt, there is turbulence and a lobby full of folks running for cover. It’s the annual MLB Winter Meetings, the first one staged since 2019 with COVID-19 and a labor lockout canceling the past two years. Beginning Monday, teams, executives, managers, […]

Read More

Clayton Kershaw’s sons make fun trip to Dodger Stadium to play ball with Dad

The Dodgers‘ Clayton Kershaw plays soft toss with his son Cooper, 2, as his other son Charley, 5, watches before a game Tuesday between the Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press) For Charley and Cooper, it might not be that rare to get a little warmup session […]

Read More