Klay Thompson, seen in a walking boot for the first time since undergoing surgery on his torn Achilles in November, told fans in an end-of-year message that he and the Warriors have "so much great basketball ahead."
Thompson wished fans well heading into 2021 in a video posted Thursday on Anta Sports' Instagram page. The 30-year-old has been signed to the Chinese shoe brand since 2014.
"I miss you guys, and unfortunately with the circumstances of 2020, I wasn't able to make the KT tour happen," Thompson said in the video published on New Year's Eve, sitting alongside his bulldog Rocco. "But hopefully in the near future, it will happen and I will be healthy, 100 percent, after my full Achilles recovery. 2020 has been rough for me as well, suffering another injury that happened while I was doing what I love, playing the game I love, basketball, and unfortunately I can't play this year.
"But you guys give me so much love and so much inspiration for that video you made me. Reaching out, that really meant a lot. It made me quite emotional, especially post-surgery, and it just inspires me to keep going, which I will. There's so much great basketball ahead for not only myself, but the Warriors, and championships to be played [for] and hopefully won. And with that, I would like to say goodbye to 2020, and we are so welcoming to 2021 for some new, fresh beginnings."
Hours before the Warriors selected former Memphis center James Wiseman in the 2020 NBA Draft, Thompson sustained a torn Achilles while playing pick-up basketball as he prepared for the start of the NBA season. Thompson missed the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign recovering from a torn ACL he sustained in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
Though Thompson hasn't physically been with the Warriors, his presence has been felt. He texted coach Steve Kerr during Golden State's season-opening loss to Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets, and Kerr cited Thompson's own slumps to give Kelly Oubre Jr. hope of breaking his. The Warriors are hopeful Thompson will be around the team more once he can truly start his rehab.
“It’s important for all of us, as well as Klay himself, that he’s around this season,” Kerr told reporters before Friday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers (h/t San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau). “Because of last year's absence and the pandemic, and just the whole bizarre year and a half it's been for him and our franchise, I would love to have him up here as much as possible."
That sounds like the fresh, new beginning Thompson is hoping for.