Monday, Jul 13, 2020
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Thompson displays true ‘warrior’ spirit

Klay Thompson is the epitome of a warrior.

The definitions of the word warrior are many, all of them indicating an individual with an ultra-intense application to the task at hand. As for Thompson, I see him best being described as a warrior hero of ancient Greece.

The true warrior spirit enabled him to come back out of the tunnel after sustaining the horrid torn left knee ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury, to go to the free throw line, sink baskets, then move downcourt, with the personal intent to continue playing, before DeMarcus Cousins committed a foul to stop the action. Golden State Warriors’ personnel escorted the son of Bahamian basketball legend Mychal “Sweet Bells” Thompson back off the court.

Then, he could be seen running through the tunnel on the way to the dressing room and the medical table, for his injury to be examined. The next time millions saw him, Klay was on crutches, exiting Oracle Arena, where incidentally the last home game of the Warriors was being played, game six of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors won the game and are now the champs. That story will live on in Canada forever, because of the historic aspect, first-ever NBA championship won by a team outside of the United States. Yet, a compelling story line despite the euphoria for the Raptors, Toronto’s Jurassic Park nation, and indeed all of Canada, was the Klay Thompson injury and his warrior attitude.

Coming down from a breakaway dunk, contested by the Raptors’ Danny Green, Thompson landed awkwardly. Observers could see the left knee bent at an odd angle. The ACL in the knee was torn. He will likely be out for the greater part of next season.

Thompson is one of the purest shooters ever in NBA history. He is definitely the most explosive. His records of 37 points in a quarter; 14 three-pointers in a game; and 60 points in 29 minutes, are achievements of a legend. He will be in the NBA Hall of Fame once the five-year condition is met, upon his retirement.

In game six, he had 30 points in less than three quarters on just 12 shots (he canned eight). Thompson was also 10-for-10 from the free throw line. His defensive skills make him one of the greatest two-way players the game has ever seen.

However, his fighting spirit through physical adversity, finally, made many take note of another attribute this superb athlete has. His determination is one of pure steel. Upstaged most often by the more outgoing Stephen Curry, his backcourt mate, and Keven Durant, the title series against Toronto proved how valuable Thompson is in his own right.

As good as the Raptors played, a healthy Thompson, in my view, would have been the decider in favor of the Warriors. He missed game three because of a hamstring strain, came back and helped the Warriors to get within one, at two games to three, and was going great when the injury occurred in game six.

Best wishes to Klay, he of the very strong Bahamian roots, throughout the surgery process and rehab.

He’ll be back!

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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