As the NBA gears up for the upcoming 2020 – 2021 NBA season, one potential title contender has already been counted out a month before the season begins. The Golden State Warriors were looked at as the only real challengers to the Los Angeles Lakers. That was until star shooting guard Klay Thompson tore his right Achilles hours before the 2020 NBA Draft.
That news sent shockwaves throughout the NBA and an earthquake through the Warriors organization. Would they be able to bounce back? Will they ever be the same again? Some don’t believe so and others do, but who ultimately decides what happens next are the Warriors players themselves.
Star guard and former 2x MVP Steph Curry recently spoke to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears about the injury to his running mate Klay Thompson and what it means for the team this upcoming season.
“You feel for a guy who has worked so hard to get back on the court two-three weeks out of [training camp] and something like that happens,” Curry told The Undefeated on Monday. “You need to have a big-picture mentality when something like this happens. It’s easier said than done going through a lot of rehab, but there is a lot of time left in his career. We’re going to be there through it all.”
A call from Golden State’s general manager Bob Myers and head coach Steve Kerr is when Curry first learned of the news about Thompson.
“He’s the best 2-guard in the league,” Curry said. “To get that call was a gut punch for sure. A lot of tears. You don’t really know what to say because a guy like that is having to go through two pretty serious rehabs now. But at the end of the day, we have to have his back. We hope that he is around and a part of what we do through his rehab and staying connected with us.
“He can come back strong. He’s a guy that loves the game so much. He is going to do whatever it takes to get back out there on the floor and be himself. That’s what we hope and the confidence that we have. Two-and-a-half years of rehab is tough for anybody. We’re hoping for the best.”
What does Curry Think of The Current Team?
While Curry may have seemed more somber in regards to his star running mate being out for the entire upcoming season he still has hope for how good this Warriors team will be. They will be infused with a lot younger players than he’s used to playing with but nonetheless, he’s up for the challenge.
“It’s going to hard at first, for sure. We’ve been waiting seven months to get back out there,” Curry said. “Not seeing [Thompson] on the court, at first, is going to be weird. But I think we’ve done a really good job in the offseason with James and our draft picks and in the free agency pool to put together a really solid roster. We’re going to have to learn a lot really quickly, and we will need a full commitment from everybody.
“We know we can compete with anyone in the league. It’s kind of crazy. We know how great Klay is. Don’t get me wrong. But we hear the chatter. ‘It’s the end of for us. This year is a wash. What are we going to do in the future?’ But we are in the moment right now. It’s kind of refreshing being in that category as guys that are chasing. We know [the Los Angeles Lakers] are the defending champs. We got to beat them. We’re ready for it.”
Thompson’s Potential Replacement Is Officially Signed
Curry can handle almost anything thrown at him on the court and that’s what a large portion of the Warriors game plan this season will entail. Yet the Warriors aren’t going to let teams keys on Curry throughout their games.
The team used their $17.2 million traded player exception from their 2019 trade of Finals MVP and current Miami Heat forward Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies in order to acquire Kelly Oubre Jr. from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Oubre Jr. had recently been dealt to the Thunder after being a part of a massive trade sending Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns.
In speaking to The Athletic’s David Aldridge, Oubre Jr. emphasized what he believes he can bring to the Warriors this season.
“Honestly, man, I bring a lot of fire to the court, a lot of energy. They have a lot of weapons, of course, but I’m also a weapon, on offense and defense. I feel I can kind of bring that flux of just lucid, positionless basketball back to the organization. I can guard one through five. I can play one, two, three, four, stretch four if I need to. I just want to fit in seamlessly and just be the best me I can be, and that’s a two-way player.”