Klay Thompson, Zaza Pachulia bromance persists with new-look Warriors

Klay Thompson, Zaza Pachulia bromance persists with new-look Warriors

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."

[RELATED: Zaza makes lofty comparison for Warriors rookie Paschall]

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.

Nets players free of coronavirus symptoms, but Kevin Durant might be delayed

Nets players free of coronavirus symptoms, but Kevin Durant might be delayed

Good news. The four Brooklyn Nets players who had tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) are now free from symptoms.

Nets general manager Sean Marks announced Wednesday during a conference call with reporters that all members of Brooklyn's traveling party had completed a two-week quarantine. Even so, they will continue to abide by social-distancing guidelines.

"As it pertains to the team," Marks said (via ESPN's Malika Andrews), "I sense -- like all of us, like the rest of New York and really the rest of the globe -- we're trying to deal with this as best we can."

The Nets were scheduled to face the Warriors at Chase Center in front of no fans on March 12, but the NBA indefinitely suspended the season the previous night after two Utah Jazz players became the first in the NBA to test positive for the coronavirus. Upon returning to Brooklyn from San Francisco, the Nets paid a private company to test the team for COVID-19, which revealed that four players had tested positive.

Of those four players, three were asymptomatic. According to Marks, however, the lone player exhibiting symptoms has since recovered.

Former Warrior Kevin Durant admitted he was one of the four Nets to test positive for the coronavirus. He hadn't played all season while recovering from a torn Achilles, and was already ruled out for the duration of the 2019-20 campaign. While Durant might have some extra time on his hands these days, it's possible that the season being indefinitely paused could delay his return to game action.

The same goes for Brooklyn point guard Kyrie Irving, who underwent shoulder surgery on March 3. Though they are able to continue their respective rehabilitations, they obviously don't have access to the practice facility, which could slow the process.

"I couldn't give an answer on when they'll play this season," Marks said. "I don't think it's fair to those athletes nor the performance team to put a timeline on it. I think everyone is dealing with bigger, far more pressing things."

[RELATED: Steph had to assemble hoop Ayesha ordered in quarantine]

Marks insisted he would have a better idea of each player's respective timeline in another three weeks to a month, when he hopes to have more clarification about the NBA's plans to resume the season.

Of course, there's no guarantee that will happen, either.

Steph Curry explains how he's above average in 'Tour de Warriors' race

Steph Curry explains how he's above average in 'Tour de Warriors' race

Warriors players can't go to Chase Center to work on their game while the NBA season is indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

They can't use the team facilities to ride the bike, or hop on the treadmill or use the elliptical.

And not everybody has exercise equipment at home.

But those who do have been able to work out together ...

... virtually.

Ben Cohen of The Wall Street Journal has the details:

(Steph Curry) does have a Peloton bike at home. As it turns out, he’s not the only one: The Warriors have been going for a group ride in the morning.

The invitation goes out on a Slack group -- Curry admits to skipping one class because he didn’t see the message -- and then a maniacally competitive bicyclist named Draymond Green attempts to destroy everyone around him, according to a person familiar with the rides.

“In the Tour de Warriors,” Curry said, “I’m above average, but I’m not on the podium yet. I have to figure out how to get there. There’s always something to shoot for.”

It's not a surprise to hear that Draymond is competitive during these sessions, as he has been a regular at SoulCycle for quite some time.

[RELATED: Steph had to assemble hoop Ayesha ordered in quarantine]

“You walk out feeling sweaty, feeling good like you got a workout in, but it doesn’t put much strain on the body," the three-time NBA champion told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke about one year ago. "Sometimes it’s good to get away from the game of basketball or the typical weight room.

“You’re working out with a different group of people, you’re all on rhythm, trying to stay on the beat with each other. When you add music to a workout, it’s fun. I do it a lot with my fiancée, and we have a good time. We sit next to each other. She’s really good at it.”

As for Steph -- knowing how competitive he is, don't be surprised if we learn that he wins the "Tour de Warriors" on the regular very soon.

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