Warriors' Klay Thompson Says 'It Was Special' to Play in 1st Game Since 2019

Doric SamJanuary 10, 2022

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson reacts after scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
AP Photo/John Hefti

Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson made a triumphant return to the court with 17 points in Sunday's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. After the game, he explained how it felt to get back to playing basketball for the first time in over two and a half years.

"Driving to the arena, I got a lot of old feelings again about all the gameday. It was surreal. The ovation to start the game, I was so grateful for all these fans. It was special, I'll never forget this night," Thompson said.


"It was special. I'll never forget this night."<a href="https://twitter.com/KlayThompson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@klaythompson</a> stops by to talk to <a href="https://twitter.com/Dennis3DScott?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Dennis3DScott</a> after his season debut. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CenterCourt?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CenterCourt</a> <a href="https://t.co/S3Akcr3Qzb">pic.twitter.com/S3Akcr3Qzb</a>

Thompson shot 7-of-18 from the field and made three of his eight attempts from beyond the arc in Sunday's 96-82 win. He had a highlight-reel dunk in the first half and a run of seven straight points in the third quarter that hyped up the home crowd at the Chase Center.

It was Thompson's first game in 941 days after a pair of devastating leg injuries kept him off the court since the 2019 NBA Finals. The three-time champion told reporters that his return to the court felt almost as good as winning a title.

"It was worth every single day of being away ... I won't say it's the equivalent of winning a championship, but it's pretty freaking close," he said, per ESPN's Malika Andrews.

The Warriors improved to 30-9 with the win, tying the Phoenix Suns for the best record in the NBA. It was Golden State's first victory this season when scoring less than 100 points.

The Warriors will return to action on Tuesday against the Memphis Grizzlies, who are the hottest team in the league with a nine-game win streak. Memphis defeated the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.