Klay Thompson’s quest for a three-peat came to an end last night in the most heartbreaking way imaginable — with a torn ACL.
Thompson left game six of the NBA Finals with a knee injury sustained late in the third quarter and the Golden State Warriors went on to lose to the Toronto Raptors, who clinched the championship with a 114-110 victory in Oakland, California.
What makes it even more painful is that the Washington State Cougars’ alumnus was in the midst of a classic “Game 6 Klay” performance — he had a team-high 28 points before he came down awkwardly after being fouled on a dunk attempt:
Klay goes down with an apparent leg injury, and all of Oracle holds its collective breath. pic.twitter.com/QGqNxvgYhY— ESPN (@espn) June 14, 2019
Thompson hobbled into the tunnel, but someone remembered that he wouldn’t be allowed to return to the game if another player took his place at the line, so he made his way back to the court to shoot the free throws. Naturally, he hit them both to reach the 30-point mark and give the Warriors a five-point lead — and jogged back on defense. With a torn ACL.
However, he left the game immediately after that. But because Klay is insane and only mostly human, cameras caught him jogging up and down the tunnel and jumping in place in what appeared to be an attempt to convince everyone that he could play. With a torn ACL.
The adrenaline finally wore off and cooler heads prevailed; Thompson would not return and would later be spotted leaving the arena on crutches.
Klay Thompson is seen walking by the Warriors locker room on crutches. pic.twitter.com/U8IoHkvvJI— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 14, 2019
The Warriors, already missing Kevin Durant, could not keep up with the Raptors down the stretch as Stephen Curry struggled to carry the load by himself, and the series ended with the road team winning for the fifth consecutive game — and the Raptors’ first championship.
Thompson now heads for free agency with that torn ACL.
Even if Warriors are able to keep Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant in free agency, it'll be a fight to reach playoffs in the Western Conference. Thompson's ACL rehab could take him into February or March -- and Durant likely misses entire season. Devastating turn of events. https://t.co/xKXayv9p34— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 14, 2019
A footnote to the night was that it was the last game ever to be played in venerable Oracle Arena, which sits adjacent to the decrepit Oakland Coliseum; the Warriors will play in a brand new arena across the bay in San Francisco starting next season. Which gave the Golden State PR department an opportunity to have a little fun before the night took a turn for the worse:
James Williams is released
Klay’s injury continued some crappy news for WSU alumni as the Kansas City Chiefs waived running back James Williams, who had signed with the team as an undrafted free agent, in the wake of its offseason minicamp.
It’s a bit of a strange turn of events for the the running back, who received a signing bonus to join the Chiefs but apparently couldn’t convince the team to keep him on its 90-man roster heading into training camp.
Now, Williams will try to hook on with another team before August.
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