Former Warrior Makes Long-Awaited Return After Major Injury

Ky Bowman Warriors

Getty Golden State Warriors big man Eric Paschall congratulates guard Ky Bowman during a 2020 game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

On March 3 of 2021, former Golden State Warriors guard Ky Bowman faced an uncertain future. Just a handful of weeks earlier, the promising, young baller had suffered a torn ACL after playing in just six games for the G League’s Agua Caliente Clippers.

Now, he was going under the knife. What he thought might just be a brief respite from the NBA lights had suddenly become surgery and a lengthy rehab process.

A year later, that process is finally reaching its end. In February, Bowman put pen to paper on a new G League contract. He was subsequently plucked from the Clippers via trade by the Austin Spurs, a team that clearly intended to get him back on the court.

On Saturday, it finally happened for Bowman, who participated in a game for the first time since his injury.


Finding His Form


Ky Bowman's Top 10 Plays of 2019-20Whether he's soaring through the air on offense or defense, Dub Nation knows they'll see Ky "Sky" Bowman putting in work. Take a look back at his top 10 plays of the 2019-20 season.2020-07-21T19:00:09Z

One might look at Bowman’s Spurs debut and say there was little to write home about. In nine minutes of play at home against the Salt Lake City Stars, the 24-year-old was 0-of-3 from the field with no points, two rebounds and an assist.

However, he took a major step by simply returning to the hardwood. Now, he just needs to shake the rust off.

Bowman’s trainer, Packie Turner — who has worked with the likes of Stephen Curry and Aaron Gordon, among others — believes that it’s only a matter of time before the old Boston College standout finds his form once again.

“Ky is no stranger to adversity, but he also never backs down from it. He keeps showing up and putting one foot in front of the other,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “Ky will be back in the league very soon, I have zero doubt in my mind. Proud of the laser focus and diligence he has had with his recovery in training this past year.”

As fate would have it, Bowman’s next opportunity to shine will come on Tuesday, March 8 against his old team, Agua Caliente.

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Bowman Was a Bright Spot for the Warriors

The pandemic-shortened 2019-20 campaign felt like the darkest timeline for the Warriors. Klay Thompson was lost to an ACL tear, Kevin Durant had found new digs in Brooklyn, Andre Iguodala was taking the scenic route to Miami and Curry broke his hand, too.

That mass exodus of cornerstone-type players resulted in a 15-50 campaign for the Warriors before the league was shut down by a deadly virus. Through it all, though, Bowman found ways to make Dub Nation pop with slick dribble-drive maneuvers, wild finishes and highlight swats/steals on D.

Despite coming to the team as an undrafted rookie, he battled for a spot and eventually found himself playing in 45 games for Golden State, including 12 starts. Over that span, he scored in double figures on 13 occasions. He did a lot more score, though.

On the whole, Bowman averaged 7.4 points, 2.9 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 22.6 minutes per game; a nice all-around line for a bench player and spot starter. Meanwhile, the Warriors were 5.8 points per 100 possessions better defensively when he was on the floor.

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