All Klay Thompson could do was watch and wait.
The Warriors star guard spent all season away from the hardwood rehabbing the torn ACL he suffered in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals loss to the Toronto Raptors. He watched his backcourt mate Steph Curry go down with a broken hand. He watched teams pile it on the injury-depleted Warriors, rubbing it in after years of feeling helpless against the onslaught brought on by Thompson, Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. He listened as pundits proclaimed the Warriors' dynasty dead, talking about it in the past tense as if it wasn't on pause.
Thompson was "crushed" to not suit up with his teammates. But he has been taking notes during his rehab. Remembering the questions and doubts. Once healthy, Thompson will be more motivated than ever to prove to those who left the Warriors for dead that they are far from finished.
"It just kills me inside when I see these other teams, so many talking heads and some of my peers saying, 'The dynasty is over, they had a great run.'" Thompson said in "Above The Water," a short documentary chronicling his rehab. "I have so much more to give this game, but patience definitely builds character. You don't have to prove anything anymore, you know? You have three championships. Multiple All-Star appearances.
"I'll just be that eager to prove everyone wrong again."
Thompson arguably was playing the best basketball of his career before the ACL injury. In five Finals games, he averaged 26.0 points per game while shooting 54.1 percent from the floor and 58.5 percent from 3-point range (24-for-41).
After years at the top, the Warriors had a pause year. Thompson, unable to help, was forced to watch while his team suffered loss after loss with him and Curry on the bench.
The five-time All-Star is expected to be 100 percent to start next season, and that's when the revenge tour begins.
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