Warriors

Draymond really looking forward to Klay's impending return

Warriors

A few minutes after 6 p.m. PT on Monday night, Klay Thompson emerged from the Warriors' locker room at Chase Center.

For the first time in 31 months, Thompson was coming on to the court to use his normal pregame shooting time slot.

The Warriors fans in the arena knew what was about to happen and gave Thompson a rousing ovation. He acknowledged the crowd and gave them a short dance before joining Steph Curry for their shooting routine.

It was a sight for sore eyes to see the Splash Brothers shooting together in front of fans. Draymond Green joined them, and for a few minutes, the Warriors' core three were shooting on the same basket.

When Thompson was done shooting, he left the court with six fingers in the air, likely signaling how many days are left until he returns to the Warriors' lineup.

"I was very excited to see him walking off and embracing that love, holding his hands up," Green told reporters after the Warriors' 115-108 win over the Miami Heat. "It's great. I've seen what he has been through the last two and a half years and it's not pretty. So for those fans to line up out there like that and show that support for him, I was a little salty that once he walked off, the warmup was dead after that. I had nobody watching me warm up."

Thompson participated in shootaround with the Warriors on Monday morning, and shortly after practice ended, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported, citing sources, that there is "optimism" that Klay will play Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers in San Francisco.

 

Coach Steve Kerr wouldn't shed much light on the situation during his pregame press conference, only saying that Sunday is "possible" for Thompson's return.

Still, the smile on Thompson's face before the game is a telltale sign that he knows he's close and he can't contain his excitement.

"You want that for him and I think he's extremely excited and anxious to be back out there," Green said. "I think you all are feeling the same way, we're feeling the same way, this fan base is feeling the same way, and most importantly, the world of basketball is feeling the same exact way. Everybody is looking forward to Klay Thompson being back out there on the floor."

Green was in the NBA's health and safety protocol last week when Thompson scrimmaged with Curry and the rest of the available Warriors' players at Ball Arena in Denver. So getting a chance to shoot with Klay on Monday, even briefly, was monumental for the forward.

"Definitely brought a smile to me," Green said. "I was very happy to share the court with him for three minutes. Even though we were doing two separate workouts, just to be on the floor with him, I didn't have that opportunity the other day in Denver that all the guys had to scrimmage with him. So just to share the court with him for three minutes was incredible for me and I'm looking forward to him having his day."

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The day Thompson does in fact return, if it is Sunday, will be an extremely emotional day in the Bay Area. There's no telling what kind of emotions will be flowing through his body that day. He might shed a few tears. He might let out a primal scream before the game starts, releasing all the pent-up frustration from the last two and a half years. Only he knows how he'll react, and he might not even know at this point.

Thompson can't wait. Green can't wait. The rest of the Warriors can't wait. And Dub Nation certainly can't wait. Just like Draymond, everyone is looking forward to that moment. And it's coming soon. Very, very soon.

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