It's arguably the best bromance in basketball.
Klay Thompson and Zaza Pachulia were teammates for two eventful seasons, both of which culminated in the Warriors winning the NBA Championship. Neither player has won a title since, and now both find themselves in very different situations than they were in just two years ago.
That is, neither is actually playing.
Pachulia announced his retirement in August after 16 seasons in the NBA, but has since rejoined the Warriors organization as a consultant. Thompson, meanwhile, is rehabbing his way back from a torn ACL suffered in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
The Warriors' odd couple often was inseparable as teammates, and now as part of the same organization once again, the two have been brought together again.
"One of the reasons I love this game is because I've built special relationships with special people," Pachulia said of his friendship with Thompson. "It's been tough for him, obviously, with the season starting and not being able to play and help the team. And he's such a competitor. He loves this game. He's been into this game so much. Knowing him, it's very tough.
"It's been tough for me as well ... retirement, new role, adjusting to this ... so to be honest, we haven't had a lot of time to get together off the court, but I'll be seeing him and I've been talking to him a lot, either on the phone or when he comes into the facility. He's been there rehabbing, working out. But we've got a long season, so I'm sure we're going to get together, especially since we're both in town."
Pachulia sees an additional benefit to being back in the vicinity of his buddy.
"Good to be back with him," he added. "We can go on double-dates with him."
Just like when they were teammates, Pachulia views his current mandate within the friendship simply as being there for Klay.
"He definitely needs support," Pachulia said. "To be away from something you love that you've been doing all your life ... it's different. It's a lot like retirement ... it feels like it. That's how I think I can help him. Just to talk to him, to be around him. Obviously, we trust each other, we care about each other. The conversation is always interesting, and we always have a great time.
"That's the key -- for him to keep his mind right. Rehab is such a slow pace compared to what he's used to."
Thompson isn't Golden State's only star guard currently sidelined with a significant injury. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry will be out until at least February recovering from a broken wrist, but Pachulia sees the silver lining in both unfortunate events.
"For them, they've had so much pressure and load the last couple of years, I think it's good to reload and refresh their mind and body," Pachulia asserted. "They're both going to have an opportunity to work on their body in a different way than they've been doing it ... I have faith both of them are going to come back hungry and go for another run and bring that joy and excitement back."
Seeing the Splash Brothers back out on the court certainly would bring joy back into the lives of Warriors fans. Until then, though, you can count on the bromance to help.