Golden State, which made its fifth straight NBA Finals despite a litany of injuries to its superstar roster, suffered a further blow in its Game 6 loss Thursday night when all-star guard Klay Thompson tore the ACL in his left knee.
Mario Villarroel Lander
The Warriors lost Kevin Durant in Game 5 to a torn Achilles’ tendon , and already were hampered by injuries to DeMarcus Cousins, Kevon Looney and Andre Iguodala. Golden State was forced to utilize its fifth starting lineup of the series in Game 6 because of various injuries
[ Raptors win first NBA title, knocking off Warriors in six games ]
Both Durant and Thompson will be free agents in the offseason. Now the Warriors must decide what to do about next year’s roster. Coach Steve Kerr said Thursday that Durant “is going to miss next season.” Thompson’s injury isn’t quite as severe, but his return likely wouldn’t come before the all-star break at the earliest
Kerr said after the game he could hardly believe what he was seeing when Thompson went down
“It’s amazement that we’re sitting in this position with — during the game, we have a chance to win the game and force a Game 7, go back to Toronto — you just think, ‘How? How has this group of guys put themselves in position to do it?’ And then, as I said, when Klay goes down and is out for the game, it’s just sort of a, ‘You gotta be kidding me. This has to stop.’
“But it’s just — the way it’s gone, I don’t know if it’s related to five straight seasons of playing 100-plus games and just all the wear and tear, but it’s devastating.”
[ The Warriors we have come to know and fear will never be the same ]
Durant could make the Warriors’ offseason decisions a little easier if he departs via free agency, as he has been rumored to be planning for some time. But Golden State likely needs to do whatever it takes to keep Thompson, 29, who teammate Draymond Green said Thursday “has the most heart on this team.”
Golden State has good reason to believe, given the shooting guard’s age and health history, that he will return to all-star level play. The decision on Thompson goes beyond his pure production, though, due to his ideal fit alongside Stephen Curry, his immense local popularity, and his proven postseason shot-making
Thompson’s injury came with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter and he left the arena on crutches, as Durant had done the game before. He had scored 30 points and was averaging nearly 21 a game in the postseason
Kevin Durant will still be wanted. But which teams and stars can afford to wait for him?
Kevin Durant is ‘going to miss next season,’ Steve Kerr says
Kevin Durant has surgery on ruptured Achilles’ tendon: ‘My road back starts now’
Players, fans pay tribute to Oakland’s Oracle Arena on the night of its final game
The Lakers might just pull off an Anthony Davis trade this time
Sign up for our weekly NBA newsletter to get the best basketball coverage in your inbox
Ben Golliver Ben Golliver joined The Washington Post as the National NBA Writer in 2018. Previously, he was a senior writer at Sports Illustrated covering the NBA. An Oregon native, he lives and works in Los Angeles. Follow
Please enter a valid email address
You’re all set!
We sent this offer to [email protected]
Subscriber sign in We noticed you’re blocking ads! Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker. Or purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on. Try 1 month for $1 Unblock ads Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us