SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The last time Warriors guard Klay Thompson was playing on an NBA court was Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals on June 13, 2019.
That was a long time ago.
Exactly 941 days or two years, six months, and 27 days ago.
After two devastating injuries — a torn ACL and a torn Achilles — Thompson, 31, is more than eager to get back to playing NBA basketball.
With Thompson officially coming back Sunday evening against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Chase Center, here’s are some notable events leading up to the five-time All-Star’s long-awaited return.
June 13, 2019: Game 6 of 2019 NBA Finals
Thompson might have been playing the game of his life — shooting 8-of-12, including 4-of-6 from 3, for a total of 30 points in just three quarters.
The injury-riddled Warriors were on the brink of elimination, and Thompson was their best player that night.
Then came the nightmare occurrence for Thompson and Warriors fans.
Thompson attempted to dunk during a fastbreak, was found, and wound up tearing his left ACL in the process.
Clearly in pain, Thompson walked in and out of the locker room and returned to make two free throws — all on a torn ACL.
Nov. 20, 2020: Thompson tears Achilles
It was a hard pill to swallow for Thompson, the Warriors, and basketball fans across the world.
After over a year rehabbing his injured left knee, Thompson was set to make his return roughly a month before the 2020-21 season started.
Then, during a supposedly harmless workout, Thompson tore his Achilles — what many fear is more devastating than an ACL tear.
The wait for Thompson to return had to wait even longer, likely at least one more year.
Oct. 22, 2021: Thompson ‘still pissed’ with NBA’s Top 75 list
When someone an active player hasn’t played in over two years, it’s easy for people to forget about him as a player.
Perhaps, that is what happened when voters did not include one of the greatest shooters — who also happens to be an All-NBA defender — as one of the 75 greatest players of all time.
Thompson spoke out on multiple occasions via social media about his frustration.
The five-time All-Star and three-time champion has done things no one else in NBA history has, including scoring 37 points in a quarter and scoring 60 points on 11 dribbles in 29 minutes.
The silver lining?
Perhaps, this might’ve motivated Thompson to come back even stronger and prove people wrong.
Nov. 26, 2021: An emotional Thompson sits alone inside Chase Center after Warriors’ win
After well over two years of being away from the sport you love, it’s hard not to bottle up all the emotions, frustrations, and pain if you’re Thompson.
Perhaps, Thompson, in private, was emotional at times during his journey to recovery. However, this seemed the most emotional Thompson was seen in public.
After a Warriors win in front of a packed Chase Center, Thompson sat alone by himself for 35 minutes with a towel covering his face, according to The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson.
Thompson seemingly didn’t want to have his face seen as he soaked in and reminisced the feeling of playing in front of the roaring crowd of Dub Nation — a yearning for that feeling once again.
This was one of many moments highlighting the sharpshooter’s desire to get back on the court.
Dec. 3, 2021: Thompson goes on Instagram Live to hint return date
‘Boat Klay’ has been a phenomenon, especially while he has been away from the court.
Thompson has gone on Instagram Live from a boat multiple times for fans to get a glimpse of what he has been up to away from the NBA spotlight.
His time on a boat has been a peaceful place for him, according to his father Mychal via NBC Sports.
In that particular live, Thompson said he’s predicting his comeback to be in a few weeks to a month.
Thompson was basically right as he made his return roughly a month later on Jan. 9 at home against the Cavaliers.