Warriors' Klay Thompson 'crushed' to not play this season, Steve Kerr says

Josh Schrock
NBC Sports BayArea

It was a hard season for the Warriors. 

The five-time defending Western Conference champions were ravaged by injuries and roster turnover, causing them to sink to the bottom of the NBA. Steph Curry broke his hand in the fourth game of the season and played one game before the league went on its coronavirus hiatus.

Star backcourtmate Klay Thompson spent the entire season recovering from the torn ACL he suffered in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Missing the entire season was really difficult for Thompson, but coach Steve Kerr knows his talented guards will be all systems go whenever next season starts. 

"It's been a really, really hard season for Klay," Kerr told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. "He loves to play basketball so much and just not being able to play has crushed him. And so he was, unlike Steph, over the last couple, few months, he hasn't been around as often as Steph was. I was OK with that just because it was so frustrating for Klay just to be at practice watching and not really being able to do anything.

"Finally over the last few weeks he was able to start shooting with our guys, running through some drills and he was so happy to be out there. But for much of the season, it was just about getting away and not torturing himself by watching us play. He's going to be so ready to play next year and so excited and the rehab is coming along really well, so I have no doubt that -- assuming everything starts in September and October like it usually does -- that Klay and Steph will be in great shape and ready to roll."

The Warriors entered the hiatus with the NBA's worst record, giving them a good shot at landing the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. That pick -- whether the Warriors keep it or trade it for veteran help -- along with the returns of Thompson and Curry, the arrival of Andrew Wiggins and the emergence of Eric Paschall will give Kerr and the Warriors hope to return to title contention next season. 

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While Thompson undoubtedly has been gutted by not playing, he's handled the rehab year in typical Klay fashion. He rode the ferry into the city, sported a kimono, gave a speech welcoming Andre Iguodala back to the Bay, played sideline reporter for NBC Sports Bay Area and had his bulldog Rocco present at an autograph session. 

He even got in a shooting session in his full Warriors uniform, thanks to Zaza Pachulia. 

It has been a tough year for Thompson, but it's safe to say he'll be ready to go next season. 

Warriors' Klay Thompson 'crushed' to not play this season, Steve Kerr says originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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