News of Klay Thompson's Achilles tear hit everyone in the Warriors organization like a ton of bricks. It was nothing short of devastating for the best two-way guard in the NBA to have suffered another catastrophic leg injury.
Steph Curry was brought to tears when he got word of Thompson's injury. While the injury is one that will require grueling rehab, Curry, ever the optimist, believes Thompson's best years still lie ahead of him.
"It hasn't killed his spirit," Curry told reporters Wednesday. "We know how energetic and the magnet that Klay is in his personality. It hasn't changed that."
"I mean, it's tough," Curry continued. "There's no getting around that. A lot of excitement and anticipation in getting him back. It being that draft day was tough. I called it a gut punch. It was emotional for sure because you want the best for him. He deserves the best that this game has to offer.
"I know he was working hard to get back. But he'll bring that same effort, commitment and focus to this rehab. We, as his teammates, have to have his back and try to be positive and uplifting through the whole process because it's tough. There's no denying that. He's young. He's got a lot of amazing years left. We believe that, truly and fully. I know he does."
Thompson now will have missed his age-29 and age-30 season, losing two key years of his prime to injury.
When the three-time NBA champion tore his ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, he was playing arguably the best basketball of his career. At the peak of his powers, Thompson torched the Toronto Raptors for 30 points on 8-for-12 shooting in fewer than three quarters before going down with a torn ACL.
Thompson added to his legend by jogging back onto the floor after suffering the injury to shoot two free throws so that he could return to the game after being checked out.
That was the last time we saw him on an NBA court.
Losing Thompson is a brutal blow for the Warriors as they try to vault back into title contention. General manager and president of basketball operations Bob Myers immediately sprang into action, acquiring Kelly Oubre Jr. in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder to try and help fill the void left by Thompson's injury.
With a healthy Curry, the Warriors undoubtedly will be a threat this season. But Thompson never will be far from their minds.
Some believe that Thompson's Achilles tear truly signaled the end of the Warriors' dynasty, but Curry's prediction for his fellow Splash Brother's future paints a different picture.
Thompson is a warrior. He eats, sleeps and breathes the game of basketball. He'll be motivated to prove he can return to the level he was at on that June night at Oracle Arena.
No one should doubt that he can, either. The Warriors' dynasty and Thompson deserve the opportunity to truly leave it all on the floor.