How Warriors fans can find hope after heartbreaking NBA Finals loss

How Warriors fans can find hope after heartbreaking NBA Finals loss

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.

The scene Thursday night in Oakland was shocking, uncomfortable, and surreal. As Drew Shiller and I hosted the postgame edition of Warriors Outsiders on the court, full of confetti following a Raptors' NBA title celebration, we learned of Klay Thompson's torn ACL. The mood of our show, which had already started with a confusing and unfamiliar feel, suddenly turned somber.

Warriors staff, security and workers surrounding us shared hugs and emotional moments as they said goodbye to a whole era of Oracle Arena. Meanwhile, about 20 yards to our right, Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry gleefully laughed as they rightfully savored their championship moment. Surreal.

Oddly enough, I believe the Warriors losing in six games of the NBA Finals was one of the greatest accomplishments this team has produced in five historic years. To show such great resiliency, faced with insurmountable adversity, was truly impressive. The Toronto Raptors are a very good, disciplined team led by an all-world talent in Leonard. And yet the Warriors, dealing with unthinkable bad luck and poor health, battled to be one bucket away from forcing a Game 7 in Toronto.

For a team that has been ridiculously ridiculed for years for having faced opponents that have dealt with injuries, the Warriors showed their greatness, even in a losing effort.

Despite all the obvious and overwhelmingly negative events that the team has faced in the last 72 hours, Warriors fans should find a glimmer of hope in how the team performed with their backs against the wall. We do not know what will happen in free agency, though it is very likely the Warriors bring back Thompson and perhaps Kevon Looney at the very least. But whatever version of the team starts opening night at the Chase Center next season, will know they have a lot to prove. And if they play anything like they did in Game 5 and 6 against Houston, or in the NBA Finals against Toronto, then not only will they be entertaining, they could be inspiring. 

To me, the most disappointing part of the injuries to Kevin Durant and Thompson (besides just the human element of seeing these men go through pain and sadness), is knowing that we will not be able to watch them on the court next season, no matter what team they are on. The NBA is worse for not being able to showcase the immense talents of those two players, and simply, Warriors games will just be less fun to cover.

But at some point both Durant and Thompson will be back playing the game they love, most likely Thompson before Durant. As a fan of the NBA, I hope that they are able to recover to be who they were this postseason. You could argue that Durant and Thompson played the best basketball of their careers these last couple months, so now we wait to see if they can play at the level again.

[RELATED: Eight-step plan to return Warriors to glory]

So now ever so quickly, before this dead season is even cold, we turn the attention to next season. The NBA Draft is next week, free agency begins the following week, and Las Vegas Summer League is right after that. We will know so much more about the future of the Warriors franchise within the next few weeks. So until then, try not to fear doom and gloom. Watch everything unfold, be patient, and try to find intrigue in the unexpected and unknown. Before long, the Warriors will be playing basketball again, and one thing is for sure, Steph Curry will be wearing the blue and gold.

Warriors vs. Lakers live stream: How to watch NBA preseason game


Warriors vs. Lakers live stream: How to watch NBA preseason game

It seems like we’ve been here before.

The Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers will match up for the third time this preseason Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

The two clubs played just two days ago at Staples Center, with the Lakers coming out on top with a 104-98 win.

Steph Curry will not play in the penultimate preseason game for Golden State, and forward Omari Spellman also will sit after a tweaked back suffered in Monday night’s loss.

Anthony Davis, who missed Monday’s game, is expected to suit up for Los Angeles.

[RELATED: How Steph plans to stay healthy through heavy workload]

Here’s how you can watch Warriors-Lakers online and on TV:

When: Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m.
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Steve Kerr jokes with Klay Thompson about redshirt year with Warriors

Steve Kerr jokes with Klay Thompson about redshirt year with Warriors

Now this is the kind of content you are here for.

Steve Kerr spoke to reporters after shootaround Wednesday morning. And as he saw guard Klay Thompson walking nearby, the Warriors coach busted out the jokes.

"Klay, we don't really need at all," Kerr said.

After Thompson responded with "redshirt season," Kerr seized the opportunity to roast the two-time All-NBA selection.

"We're redshirting him, trying to get him bigger and stronger. Get him used to campus life. Academically, he's got a ways to go ..."

Klay is rehabbing his torn left ACL, and will be sidelined until at least the All-Star break.

It's possible that the five-time All-Star misses the whole season, hence the "redshirt" reference.

[RELATEDDubs' Spellman out for tonight's preseason game at Lakers]

But the Warriors sure hope that doesn't become the reality and Klay is able to come back at the end of the regular season for a playoff push.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Related content from TMZ Sports

Rihanna turned down Super Bowl for Kap: 'I couldn't be a sellout'
Antonio Brown looks in great shape working out at police field
Kevin Durant says the Knicks aren't a 'cool' team anymore
Swaggy P blames Instagram for hurting Carmelo's NBA chances