Last Friday at Chase Center, the Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers to move to 17-2 on the season. After the game, when everyone had filed out, Klay Thompson remained, sitting on the Warriors' bench with a towel draped over his head.
For 35 minutes Thompson sat, pondering the two years he has spent away from the court, rehabbing injuries. Feeling how close he is to finally returning. Steve Kerr, Steph Curry and Draymond Green all ventured back out to sit with and talk to the star shooting guard before Thompson finally left the bench.
On Tuesday, Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers spoke to 95.7 The Game's "The Morning Roast" and discussed Thompson's mindset during the emotional postgame moment, noting it all comes back to how much the sharpshooter loves and misses the game of basketball.
"Well, I was in the back talking to [Rick] Celebrini about something else and then somebody texted me and said, 'You see what's going on with Klay?'" Myers said. "And I kind of went into Steve's office and said, 'What's up?' He said, 'We went out there and he's OK, but you know he's just sad about the whole thing, right?' And he said that he has had such battles with [the Trail Blazers] and just a variety of emotions. I talked to Steve and called Klay -- I didn't talk to him that night because when that happens in our world with somebody of his stature, you just get bombarded with people, all well wishes and guy's inboxes get flooded. So, I called him Saturday. He picked up and first thing he says is, 'Beautiful day, huh?' And then I knew he was OK. He said, 'I'm thinking about getting out on the boat.' He was talking about taking it down to Santa Cruz, but it was too far. I knew at that point he was fine.
"But here's the thing," Myers continued. "I don't know what you have gone through in your life, but I'm sure it has been something difficult. Maybe it was you sitting on a park bench or in your house with your head in your hands and nobody knows, right? Nobody knows and you have that moment, you deal with it, maybe somebody is with you or maybe you're by yourself. The difference is when Klay Thompson does it, the whole world knows. I don't think he did it for attention. He just, in that moment, was feeling what he was feeling, and he sat there, right? It's all part of it. It's part of the deal. Two years, nothing happened, he didn't have a setback. There were no events that occurred. It was just, 'I miss playing basketball,' in a deep, deep sense. That's where it comes up."
RELATED: Four reasons why Warriors are legit
When asked about a concrete date for Thompson's return to the court, Myers said he still doesn't know if the five-time All-Star will return in December or if it will be later. But Thompson's return is on the horizon.
"On Saturday, I said, 'Klay is there a message you want out there. Is there something you want me to say? Do you want me to say you're coming back before the end of the year? Do you want me to say you're not?' And he said, 'I don't know. We'll see how it goes.' ... There's no answer. I don't have it and I'm not giving it to you guys. I don't have that it's definitely December. I don't have that it's definitely not. But it's coming. He's scrimmaging today. He scrimmaged the other day in Santa Cruz."
While Myers doesn't know exactly when Thompson will return, he did say it won't be Friday when the Warriors host the Phoenix Suns.
Thompson has reached the final stage of his rehab and his return is so close everyone can feel it. When Thompson does return, he and the Warriors have one goal.
“We are now the type of team where it’s championship or bust,” Thompson said after practice last Tuesday. “And that’s a really cool position to be in. Not a lot of players get to experience that.”