By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]
Klay Thompson registered 17 points, three rebounds, one assist, and one block in 20 minutes. His return to action after 2 1/2 years made out Klay Day at Chase Center and marked the latest NBA Sundays edition.
“It was a very special moment. I will never forget this night. I will never forget the reception the Warriors fans gave us, especially myself,” he mentioned during the press conference following the Golden State Warriors home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, “Gosh it was fun and it was worth every single day of being away and in that squat rack or on that shuttle board and all the conditioning days. It was worth every single moment.”
“I am not going to say equivalent to winning a championship. But man, it was pretty freaking close,” he added, “I am so grateful to just compete again.”
The five-time All-Star was looked just fine in his first game in San Francisco’s Chase Center and his first NBA appearance since Game 6 of the 2019 Finals. The franchise moving from Oakland to San Francisco was among the many changes during his lengthy absence due to a torn ACL in his left knee and an Achilles tendon injury.
“It felt great to get the first one out of the way,” he said before moving on to a bigtime dunk highlighting his season debut, “Obviously the win is the most important and it was an emotional night. I did not know I was going to dunk on somebody the first game back, that felt good. So hooray for me.”
A running layup 40 seconds into the 2021-22 NBA Regular Season fixture put up his first two points Sunday night. He went 7/18 from the field and 3/8 from beyond the arc.
“The fans are the best. The best in the league. The ovation and the pregame and to come out and make my first shot,” he claimed, “The fans are everything. They inspired for me the last two years and I thought about them everyday on the squat rack, on that shuttle machine. I’m just so happy to be back doing what I love.”
Besides the Chase Center crowd, Klay Day was celebrated by his teammates as well. They arrived for the game wearing Klay Thompson jerseys borrowed from throughout his career with the Warriors.
The team guided by Steve Kerr improved to 30-9 to share the lead in the NBA standings with the Phoenix Suns. A four-game road trip coming up will travel the team to Memphis, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Minnesota throughout the week.
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