The Golden State Warriors lost the title last night in Oakland, and a chance to make a three-peat. It was an emotional evening for all the people at the Oracle Arena, and the entire Dub Nation. They saw Oracle for one last time, the place where GSW became immortal and said goodbye with a loss.
But what is maybe the worst part of it all is the fact that Klay Thompson suffered one of the worst injuries one athlete can pick up. One of the Splash Brothers tore his ACL, in the late part of the third period.
He was by far the best player in the home team, scoring 30 points in 32 minutes on the floor, with an excellent shooting percentage. Klay was 8 of 12 from the field, and perfect from the free throw line hitting all of his 10 attempts.
But unfortunately during one fast break, he tried to dunk, and Danny Green contested that attempt, which led to Thompson’s awkward landing. He immediately grabbed his knee, and it was obvious that things aren’t good for the Warriors.
It would turn out later that Klay’s ACL just snapped, and he will have to be absent from the game for at least 9 months as the first prognosis says.
This complicates many things. Thompson was bound to become a free agent this summer. He already missed a chance to get a supermax contract with the Warriors because he didn’t enter the All-NBA team. This could decrease his potential salary even more. Besides that, many organizations were inquiring for his services, and some of them were eager to offer excellent conditions for his signature.
Meanwhile, the Warriors want one of their icons to stay, despite the injury and all the problems. Owner of the franchise, Joe Lacob spoke to the media and said that one of the primary goals of his organization would be to bring back Klay, despite the injury he has.
“I’ve said for a long time I want Klay to be a Warrior for life, and so this doesn’t change anything as far as I’m concerned.”
Lacob didn’t want to speak much about that topic because free-agency hasn’t started yet. Once again, he mentioned the fact that the Warriors wish to see Klay in their jersey until the end of players’ career.
“I’m not going to say anything because the free-agency period isn’t here yet,” Lacob told Yahoo Sports. “You know I have the utmost regard for Klay’s talent and for him as a person. I’m pretty sure we’ll talk this summer, and he’ll hopefully be a Warrior for life.”
The 29-year old was drafted back in 2011 by the Warriors as the 11th overall pick. He came from Washington State, and immediately became one of the cornerstones in building one of the most dominant dynasties in the history of the league.
The Warriors won even when they lost in 2016 because Kevin Durant agreed to join them. In 2019? Even the ever-aggressive Joe Lacob admits “this is a little more complicated.” Column for @NYTSports on what the injury-riddled Warriors will try to do next —> https://t.co/N1gN27xwgH
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 14, 2019
In 615 matches played for GSW, Klay averaged 19.5 points, with 41,9% of shooting from behind the arc, recording numerous shooting records, and displaying some of the memorable sequences which will be remembered forever. Besides three rings with the Warriors, Klay was an Olympic and World champion, and a 5-time All-Star, plus two-time All NBA, and for the first time this season an All-NBA defensive team.
After Kevin Durant landed at Oakland, Thompson was the one who was affected the most. But he didn’t make any trouble because of that, willingly sacrificing his stats and status in the team, all because of trophies.
There were some rumors that he wanted to explore options with other teams during the upcoming free agency, but all that is changed now. Especially because of the fact that he might skip the entire next season.
Free agency starts on June 30th.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write, read, and bet on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a betting tips writer at WagerBop.