Steve Kerr offers encouraging update on Klay Thompson's rehab progress

Steve Kerr offers encouraging update on Klay Thompson's rehab progress

It's been over a year since Klay Thompson last took the floor in an NBA game, tearing his ACL in the Warriors' Game 6 loss to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals.

With the Warriors resetting and sinking toward the bottom of the league, there was no need to rush Thompson back for a playoff push. So the five-time All-Star focused on his rehab and mostly stayed away from the team, as coach Steve Kerr knew the pain of not playing was killing Thompson.

Thompson was fully cleared to practice last month, and Kerr went down to Southern California to watch him work out. To Kerr's eyes, Thompson is "basically ready to go."

“… I took a day (last month) and spent some time with him, watched him work out," Kerr told David Aldridge on The Athletic's "Hoops, Adjacent" podcast. "One of our assistant coaches came down for the week to train him. And so we got together. It was great to see him, because he loves the game so much. He loves to play. And he’s missed it so much. And he looked great. He was in really, really good shape, draining shots from all over like the Klay we all know and love. So he’s ready to go. It’s just that we don’t know when basketball will be played, but Klay will be ready.”

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Music to Warriors' fans ears.

With Thompson missing the entire season and Steph Curry missing all but five games with a broken hand, the Warriors were picked on by the rest of the NBA. Teams relished in pulverizing the former league bully who suddenly was without Curry, Thompson and Kevin Durant, who signed with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency.

The Warriors enter the offseason armed with a top-five draft pick and a $17.2 million trade exception to finish reshaping their roster for what they hope is another dynastic run.

With the NBA season expected to begin in December, Thompson will have had 18 months between competitive games, and he, Curry and Draymond Green should be reenergized and ready to re-enter the title chase.

[RELATED: Kerr will look to 'KG Plan' to start managing Steph's minutes]

The 2019-20 season was a time for the Warriors to rest and recharge. Curry and Thompson had to watch from the bench as the Warriors suffered horrible loss after horrible loss.

But in the end, the Warriors are viewing the gap year as a positive.

"But this could be a blessing in disguise in terms of this next three, four years we want to have," Curry told reporters at the American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe. "Get rested, get healthy. We'll obviously be watching Orlando and taking all that in, but come next season, whenever that starts, we'll be ready. We've had a long seven years, so it was nice to get a little refresh."

With Thompson healthy and the championship core refreshed, the Warriors should be back among the league's elite next season. And they'll be motivated to remind everyone they aren't done yet.

DeAndre Ayton responds to Draymond Green's comments about Devin Booker

DeAndre Ayton responds to Draymond Green's comments about Devin Booker

Draymond Green created quite the stir on social media last Friday, because of his comments -- which resulted in a $50,000 fine -- about Phoenix Suns All-Star guard Devin Booker.

"It's great to see Book playing well and Phoenix playing well, but get my man out of Phoenix," the Warriors forward said on TNT's "Inside the NBA" studio show. "It's not good for him. It's not good for his career. Sorry, Chuck (Charles Barkley). But they gotta get Book out of Phoenix.

"I need my man somewhere he can play great basketball all the time and win because he's that type of player."

Suns big man Deandre Ayton was asked about Draymond's opinion during a guest appearance on "The Woj Pod" with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

"We definitely heard that noise. It was promoted everywhere," the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft said. "It's just outside noise. Book is a dude who really maintains focus, and he just wants to win. He's a competitor at the highest peak there is in this league.

"It's contagious. Seeing how he plays out there every day -- it just spreads. Him and I being the head honchos leading, so any noise like that is nonexistent to me."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

In a nutshell, Ayton took the high road and didn't do anything to stir the pot.

The same cannot be said about the Suns' social media account 

This is funny and great content.

[RELATED: Can pigs fly? Chuck says Warriors have big '20-21 advantage]

Speaking of funny -- here is how Draymond reacted Saturday morning shortly after the league announced his fine.

The four matchups between the Warriors and Suns next season will be must-see TV. Then again, you can say that about every Golden State game.

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Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald honored to call NBA playoff games

Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald honored to call NBA playoff games

The Warriors are not an NBA playoff team, but they’ll have representation in the bubble. 

TNT selected Emmy award-winning Warriors play-by-play announcer Bob Fitzgerald to call playoff games in Orlando, Fla. 

“It’s really an honor, it’s something I’m thrilled about,” Fitzgerald said on the latest episode of the Runnin’ Plays podcast

Fitzgerald will call national games on TNT and NBA TV. He knows his first assignment is Tuesday, Aug. 18 for the first round of the playoffs, but he could be handed any series. He’s preparing for all 16 teams.

“Fortunately, being the league as long as I have, I know all the teams,” Fitzgerald, who has spent 25 seasons as a Warriors broadcaster, said.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

“I’ve seen all the videos and read the protocols and signed my life away,” Fitzgerald joked about preparing for life in the bubble. “The NBA has been amazing in terms of how strict and how professional and how well done the whole bubble concept has been.” 

He’s preparing for some differences in an environment without fans. In the big moments, he typically “lays out” or stops speaking to let crown noise come through. Fitzgerald will have to figure out what to do in a quiet arena.

[RELATED: Report: Warriors playing in Orlando bubble a "non-starter" for NBPA]

“I’m an excitable person,” Fitzgerald exclaimed, “I cheer for the excellence in basketball. If someone blows by for a dunk, you have two choices ... you can accentuate ‘Antetokounmpo went in and dunked it!’, or you can talk about the defender who let him go right by. I’m more a positive person so I’m going to accentuate the accomplishments.

I don’t spend much time trying to kick people in the groin. That ends up being a tiresome way of looking at sports.”