Warriors' Stephen Curry: 'I'm Not the Shooter I Am' Without Klay Thompson

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 10, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 9: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates a three point basket during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 9, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

On the night Klay Thompson returned to the floor for the first time in nearly 31 months, Stephen Curry credited his backcourt mate for helping him achieve greatness.

"Shooting the basketball is what we do. The work that we put in since he got here, the level of inspiration we both have for each other and the internal competition helped me get to that point throughout my career," Curry told reporters. "It was amazing to honor him even though he wasn't there. To let him know I'm not the shooter I am if I don't get to see Klay every single day do what he does. He keeps you sharp and you understand, like, if I want to shoot the ball the way I want to, there's another guy that can do it too."


"I'm not the shooter I am if I don't get to see Klay every single day do what he does." - <a href="https://twitter.com/StephenCurry30?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StephenCurry30</a> <a href="https://t.co/6na2LK8CeB">pic.twitter.com/6na2LK8CeB</a>

Thompson made his season debut in Sunday's 96-82 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, scoring 17 points in 20 minutes. The five-time All-Star missed the last two seasons after tearing his ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals and then tearing his Achilles in 2020.

"I'm just so grateful to be out here, and the love I received pregame, and the video tributes, it was special," Thompson said on NBC Sports Bay Area after the game. "This is a night I will never forget, and it lived up to all the hype, and I'm just very grateful for our fanbase. It's incredible."

After missing the playoffs each of the last two seasons, the Warriors have re-emerged as a title contender in 2021-22. They became the second team to reach the 30-win plateau Sunday night and are tied with the Phoenix Suns for the top seed in the Western Conference at 30-9.

Thompson isn't expected to immediately jump in and play full minutes, but he did show some hops with a highlight dunk in the second quarter after splitting two defenders off the dribble. He added three threes on the night and jacked up 18 shots in his 20 minutes, looking determined to get back into a rhythm quickly.d