Klay Thompson's torn Achilles was a brutal blow for the Warriors. Steph Curry took the injury to his backcourt mate and friend especially hard.
The Splash Brothers were a month away from re-introducing themselves to the NBA when Thompson suffered his injury while playing a pick-up game in Southern California. After finally getting a hold of Thompson after the injury, Curry had an important message for his longtime teammate and friend.
“Be around the team as much as you can this season. We need you," Curry told Thompson, according to The San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau.
Last season, Thompson spent a lot of his time away from the Warriors as he rehabbed from the torn ACL he suffered in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. He was around occasionally, but coach Steve Kerr let him be away from the team because he knew how much it hurt Thompson to not be able to play.
But as Curry enters the season with an almost entirely new supporting cast, he knows it's important for Thompson to be a part of building what the Warriors hope is the next stage of their dynasty. A re-imaging of greatness that Thompson will play a key role in when he returns next season.
Curry knows Thompson well. He knows how much missing a second consecutive season and facing another grueling rehab hurts Thompson. But he also has no doubt the three-time NBA champion will return to his old form.
"I know he was working hard to get back," Curry said. "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."
The Warriors planned to vault back into NBA title contention this season, but that will be much more difficult without Thompson. In order for the Warriors to be a factor in the title race, Curry will have to play at an MVP level and carry a heavy offensive load.
It will be the Curry show this season, but the Warriors know the return of the Splash Brothers is just delayed. Thompson will be back, and no one will be happier than Curry to see him return.