Five-time NBA All-Star Klay Thompson is set to suit up for the Golden State Warriors matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday (Jan. 9).
It will be Thompson’s first game back since he tore his left ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors in June 2019. The sharpshooter tore his right Achilles in November 2020, further delaying his recovery.
On Instagram, the three-time NBA champion shared a clip from the first Space Jam movie. He jokingly captioned the post: “How I’m pulling up to chase tomorrow, Bill Murray is my spirit animal.” “IM SO EXCITED TO SEE YALL DUBNATION LETS GET IT,” he added.
Thompson expanded on those sentiments in a statement posted by the Warriors: “I hate to use the phrase ‘can’t wait’ because I love to be present in my life. But I cannot wait to play in front of our fans again. I really, really enjoy being a Warrior.“
According to ESPN, Thompson practiced with his team on Saturday (Jan. 8), and participated in a light scrimmage before officially announcing his return.
After the run, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr discussed the significance of Thompson’s comeback and expressed how grateful he is to have him back. “I’ve been lucky enough to probably have played in 1,000 games and coached in 500-something,” Kerr said. “There’s a few games that you just always remember. Certain moments you always remember. I have no doubt that when Klay walks onto the floor for the first time, I will never forget that particular game.”
“It will stand out as one of the highlights of my entire basketball existence just because of who Klay is and how much he has meant to our franchise and the Bay Area, to me personally, to his teammates. He is kind of everybody’s favorite guy and we have all seen him suffer for two and a half years. It will be very emotional.”
Kerr told reporters that Thompson will play a limited amount of minutes on Sunday, but his playing time will gradually increase. When asked whether Thompson will return back to the starting lineup, Kerr replied: “He’s Klay Thompson, you know? When you can score 60 points in 29 minutes, generally your coach should start you. So, Klay is going to start.”
On Twitter, Thompson’s splash brother Steph Curry changed his profile pic to honor what he’s calling “#KlayDay.” “My brother returning to the court has me going down memory lane…” Curry wrote. In a separate video tribute, the NBA’s new 3-point leader said that it’s “rare these days to have somebody as pure as Klay feel every bit of what basketball brings to him. That first game back is going to be unreal.”
Klay Day will officially commence Sunday (Jan. 8) at 8:30 p.m. EST. Check out Klay and Steph’s social media posts below:
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Klay Day pic.twitter.com/6qVnN3Y6Cf
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) January 9, 2022
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) January 8, 2022
Klay Day!!! Loading… I’m excited as hell!
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) January 9, 2022