By now, everyone in the NBA knows the return of Klay Thompson is near.
The only question is: when will it happen?
The Warriors have already said it will be a home game, and multiple reports place the date in January. Here’s a rundown from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau, who previously wrote that Thompson’s return from injury will indeed be at home during the first month of 2022.
That means he could return Jan. 3 against Miami, Jan. 9 against Cleveland or during a seven-game homestand spanning Jan. 18-29. I’ve been told Jan. 3 is unlikely. If I had to guess, the likeliest possibilities seem to be Jan. 9 against the Cavaliers or Jan. 18 against Detroit.
Right now, I’d bet on that game against the Pistons. It just makes sense. After a four-game trip, the Warriors could return home with the ultimate celebration: Thompson’s first appearance in more than 2½ years. Plus, he’d have six more home games to find a rhythm before having to hit the road.Connor Letourneau/San Francisco Chronicle
Letourneau also points out that any of these dates are viable, with Jan. 9 a distinct possibility.
But when Thompson returns, it will be an enormous event, no matter the exact date. And not just for the Warriors — for the entire NBA. Thompson is one of the league’s premier players. He shone brightly on one of the best teams in NBA history, winning three championships along the way in the Bay Area.
His tenure in Golden State hit two huge road bumps in the last two years, as most already know. He tore his ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals (during Game 6, when he led all scorers in fewer minutes than other starters), and he ruptured his Achilles tendon on NBA Draft Day in 2020. When he does return, he’ll be the only player to suffer those injuries back-to-back without playing a game in between.
But Thompson is almost ready to get back on the court for the Warriors and continue his illustrious career in Golden State. And fortunately for him and the entire franchise, the team has a phenomenal record and is looking to pick up where Thompson left off — with a trip to the NBA Finals.