Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After a very long layoff, all the feels are slowly coming back for Klay Thompson. 

Missing two-consecutive seasons and taking recovery for two of the most gruesome basketball injuries in the ACL and Achilles tear isn’t easy. Well, he still has some fond and treasured memories after ending the 941 days of absence in experiencing the NBA moment earlier this month – wherein he chipped 17 markers in 20 minutes against the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

“Probably the day leading up to it,” Thompson when asked what he remembers in his anticipated return this season, per NBC Sports Bay Area color analyst Kelenna Azubuike. “A lot of [anxiety]. The introduction and then the part where I went down the lane and dunked on two people, that felt really good. Pretty surreal moment, just cause I thought about it for so long, and amazing reception from the fans. 

“Electricity was in the building, really it was electric in there. And it felt normal again to be playing basketball. It was just an incredible time and a night I’ll never forget.”

Yet, the painful moments remain fresh in the minds of the Golden State Warriors star, as he also detailed what he missed in his long rehabilitation. 

“I missed it all,” Thompson told Azubuike. “I missed the intros, I missed the pregame preparation, I missed getting my shots up, prior to tipoff, I missed the morning shootaround. I missed my stretching and the cold tub, and just the nerves that come with playing. Being off for two years, it was hard to stay focused and invested every night, but when you’re out there and you’re competing, it’s a whole different beast and I miss that part the most – the competition.”

On six occasions he played so far this 2021-2022 campaign, he is averaging 14.7 points in less than 22 minutes. While he is making his comeback in a precautionary and limited approach, Thompson is truly motivated to help his team out there. 

With the Warriors remaining at the second spot of the barbaric Western Conference with a 33-13 record, the 31-year-old shooting sensation has his eyes set on the bigger picture of bringing back the league’s supremacy in the Bay Area as well as proving his doubters wrong.