SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Bob Myers called Stephen Curry to break the devastating news that Klay Thompson had torn his Achilles and would miss another season. Silence on the other end.
Myers, the Golden State general manager, made the same call to Draymond Green. Again, only quiet.
Thompson tore his right Achilles tendon playing in a pickup game Wednesday and had an MRI exam Thursday in Los Angeles that revealed the severity of the injury that typically requires surgery. Right after Thompson worked himself back from knee surgery in early July 2019, now this, another year on the sideline.
The Warriors aren’t ready to say what the next steps are for Thompson until they know more.
“What hurts the most — and speaking on behalf of Klay, we will move on and we will be OK and he will be OK — but what hurts the most is the time we put into our jobs, the sacrifices we make to do what we do and to do what he does,” Myers said. “And for him to have to now not be able to play basketball, that’s the pain. That’s the pain we feel, the pain we feel for him.,
Dear friend and former teammate Zaza Pachulia spoke to Thompson and assured him he would endure this, and offered some perspective that things could be far worse as they currently are around the world during this pandemic.
Thompson’s passion for basketball is clear. Myers spoke to Curry’s Splash Brother on Thursday and mentioned that very thing: telling Thompson he senses “basketball is for you air and water, you have to have it.”
“Nobody deserves this. Like I said, nobody deserves anything like this that befalls them,” Myers said. “But this is a guy that loves basketball, bleeds basketball.”
The injury is a huge blow for the Warriors, who were an NBA-worst 15-50 last season as they struggled without Thompson and at times without Curry as he nursed a broken left hand that sidelined him for more than four months.
Thompson didn’t play at all during the coronavirus-shortened season as he worked back from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee. He suffered that injury in the deciding Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.
Myers said Thompson’s injury had Golden State considering altering its draft decisions Wednesday night but the Warriors stuck with their plan to select Memphis center James Wiseman at No. 2.
Everybody who knows Thompson expects he will make yet another triumphant comeback and with an even greater fire for his job — if that’s even possible for him given how hard he already pushes.
This is the dynamic shooter who went off for 60 points in three quarters of a game in December 2016 after setting an NBA record with 37 points in the third quarter against the Kings in January 2015.
“By the way, there’s more to come, there’s more Klay memories to come,” Myers said, “and more great moments.”