Warriors fans celebrate Klay Thompson’s long-awaited return
SAN FRANCISCO – Chase Center rocked as Klay Thompson was introduced as part of the Golden State Warriors roster for the first time in 941 days.
Thompson is back in the woods after an arduous rehab with two major injuries. Fans raced right up and down with him, culminating in celebration in his first game back against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.
Ashley Seaman said: “I am very emotional. “I got chills watching all the videos. Watching him is interesting. It feels like they’re done again with Steph Curry and the rest.”
Seaman, who claims to be a Klay Thompson super fan from Mountain View, donned a Washington State University Thompson jersey given to her by her husband. Her family and friends know she is “obsessed” with Thompson. When she watched the 31-year-old perform the first shove on her first test shot, she shed a few tears.
“Among all the players, Klay is my favorite, he is my MVP,” she said. “He brings a lot of purity and heart. That’s what gets him excited about watching the game.”
Seaman was one of the throngs of Warriors fans who filled the Chase Center with a shrill growl that rang out after each of Thompson’s three-point efforts, steering, overtaking, and backing in. A lot of fans watched the news cycle to find out the date of Thompson’s return to make sure they could get tickets.
James Quiroz, Carlo Villanueva, Byron Encina and Phillip Quiroz, friends from across San Francisco, Daly City, Hayward and San Jose were doing the math and buying tickets when they saw Thompson hold up six fingers – representing six days for until he comes back – last Monday .
“We’ve had a group chat waiting for this date since the start of the season,” said Phillip Quiroz. “We predicted the day he would return and did it for sure.”
Friends who attended Sunday’s game wore Thompson from the headband to the number 11 shirt to the captain’s hat – a tribute to Thompson’s Instagram live streams broadcast from his boat on the San Francisco Bay.
“We feel that he’s been out for two and a half years,” Quiroz said. “We are here with him through the entire recovery.”
Greg Greenwood, a season ticket holder for 23 years, and his son Julian Greenwood attend the games weekly or so. The pair wore the special number 11 shirt for Sunday’s game and reflect Thompson’s legacy.
“For me Klay is one of the best bulletproof guys,” says Greg Greenwood. “He never misses games. There was an ACL, a terrible injury, and then Achilles on it. There were some thoughts in my head that it could be the end of my career. For him coming back was unbelievable.”
Julian Greenwood was excited about how Thompson would outdo a Warriors team going into Sunday’s game with a 9-9 record.
“Klay creates space for the floor, so it will allow Steph to have a more open look,” he says.
Excited to see what the season has to do with Thompson’s return, the father and son also look back at what Thompson has overcome.
“He is one of the most beloved Warriors,” said Elder Greenwood. “Klay and Steph are very special to the fans. To see what he’s been through and to persevere, he’s an unbelievable source of inspiration.”
Alex Viltera, Michael Armenta and Manuel Beltran got lucky in this game. Cousins from Modesto purchased tickets for Sunday’s game a few months ago and were delighted to hear they would witness a big day in Warriors lore.
“It’s great to see the Splash Brothers back together,” said Armenta.
Over two years that’s been a long wait for longtime Warriors fans.
“It’s time. It’s been too long. We need Klay back in the squad,” said Manuel Beltran.
What’s next for Thompson? The fans are just happy to see a beloved player back to his rhythm.
James Quiroz said: “We knew he was going to be a shooter. “Shoots and shoots forever. Who knows what he will do this season. We’re not expecting too much, but we’re expecting a lot because it’s the Warriors. ”
https://www.sbsun.com/2022/01/09/warriors-fans-celebrate-klay-thompsons-long-awaited-return-i-was-getting-chills/ Warriors fans celebrate Klay Thompson’s long-awaited return