With the Warriors entering their own "bubble" for minicamp this week, the front office and coaching staff are on the verge of getting a closer look at their roster. While they will be following the development of their young pieces, plenty of attention will be paid to Klay Thompson's reintroduction to team activities.
Thompson has mostly been out of the spotlight since the end of the Warriors' season in March, keeping his rehab and life private ... give or take a social-media post or a kayak trip. So, if you're wondering how Klay is doing heading into camp, his former teammate and current Warriors player mentor coach Leandro Barbosa has the latest.
"He's very good," Barbosa said on the latest episode of the "Runnin' Plays" podcast. "He's my boy, ya know? He's happy. I haven't seen Klay for a couple years, and I went to his house [this week], we kind of hung out and we kind of talked. He was happy with me being here, I was happy being here, especially having a chat with him. But he's doing good, he's awesome, he's recovered."
Barbosa and Thompson were teammates with the Warriors from 2014 through '16, winning an NBA championship in their first season together. That year was Barbosa's 12th in the league and only Thompson's fourth, and Barbosa said Thompson has grown a lot since they first became friends.
"[He was] really simple, quiet, lay low. Different than now, different than today." Barbosa explained. "I was kind of talking about that with Klay yesterday, how he's been so mature, and he's been talking more. Klay wasn't like that. He was on the side of my locker, and I used to come in and play around with him, and he was quiet. Always quiet. Klay was all about him, himself and his dog, and that's not so much right now."
Besides their shared experience as teammates, Barbosa and Thompson have another commonality: Both have torn their ACLs. Barbosa tore his in 2013 playing for the Boston Celtics, and there were fears he might never be the same player again.
Leandro knows very well what lies ahead for Klay.
"I had the same injury that he has, my injury was a little worse than him," Barbosa explained. "The main thing about the injury that he has, is not about the knee, he's healthy and good, it's right here (in his head). The mindset. Not being scared going into the lane, to not be afraid to do what he used to do. I'll take a little time for him to have that fully, 100 percent confidence."
It can be a difficult process regaining the trust necessary to physically perform at the highest level without getting hurt again, and trusting that the ACL has fully healed to its original strength. For many, that can be a long, arduous road mentally.
Barbosa is not nearly as concerned for Thompson.
"I know Klay, he's going to do that really well," Barbosa said. "All he needs to do is just shoot the ball, he's capable of doing that. He's fine, he's very happy to be here, he'll be in the camp, and I'm very excited to work with him."