Mychal Thompson says Klay showed ‘Kobe toughness’ in Finals
A miraculous recovery in the NBA Finals sparked a debate on just how injured Klay Thompson was ahead of Game 2 of the series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
His father, Mychal Thompson, explained the extent of his son’s injury and why he chose to take the court after going down with it.
“He was probably playing at 50 percent capacity,” Mychal revealed during an interview with 95.7 The Game. “Just playing on adrenaline and passion alone because he knows how much this means to him and his team and to the Warriors fans and the organization. He wanted to be a part of it.”
“He couldn’t bear to sit down and watch from the bench. And if he could go out there and play on one foot and not do any further damage to his ankle, he was gonna play.”
“He showed me some Kobe toughness in this Finals. He’s always had that. He learned that from watching Kobe, talking to Kobe. Klay is a quiet tough guy.”
Thompson suffered a high-ankle sprain in the opening minutes of Game 1, as J.R. Smith slipped and tumbled into the Golden State Warriors shooting guard, causing the injury.
The marksman was quickly taken out of the game and brought into the locker room for further examination, returning to play 34 of the next 36 minutes of regulation and the consequent five overtime minutes — totaling 45 for the game.
Thompson has been the Warriors’ iron man throughout this four-year championship run, often the one constant in the lineup. He didn’t let them down this time either, showing a semblance of his childhood idol Kobe Bryant with his tenacity and willingness to put it all on the line, potentially risking further injury.
“I can’t really feel it,”said Thompson after the Warriors completed a four-game sweep of the Cavs on Friday night.
“Even if I had a broken leg, I was gonna play,” Thompson added as Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala laughed on the podium next to him.
“Ehhh — probably not. I would have tried to play,” Klay added. “Key word ‘tried.’ I would have tried to play.'”
Klay and his father Mychal had given head physiotherapist Chelsea Lane plenty of praise as the unsung hero during the two days between games, helping him heal around the clock with intense rehab and therapy — which the two continued throughout the series.