If losing your best player in Kevin Durant for the NBA Finals, and potentially permanently, then losing the Finals, the chance to repeat and having to watch the other ballclub celebrate in their house were not bad enough, the Golden State Warriors got another steel-toed kick in the junk Thursday night when it was revealed that Klay Thompson tore the ACL in his left knee.
Thompson blew out the knee when he landed awkwardly after a slam dunk in the fourth quarter of Game 6. He immediately went down in pain and then was helped off the floor. He was in the back and returned to shoot free throws before exiting the game. Unfortunately Klay was unable to re-renter the game; it was subsequently ascertained that the All-Star guard suffered a torn ACL, which meant even had the Warriors been able to pull the game out, they would have went into a decisive Game 7 with another one of their top end players due to a major injury.
Could this be the end of the Golden State Warriors dynastic era? The question must be raised because the Warriors , in all likelihood, will look very different when the 2019-20 season tips off. The starting lineup will be vastly different, not only because of what happened injury-wise over the past two games but also because of pending contractual and financial issues that have yet to be addressed. The bench will also not be the same as some of the cast of characters’ better days are in their rear view mirror, while others may find another team that can offer a larger contract.
As they will still have Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, they will still be a competitive ball club but injury, money, and The Toronto Raptors have forced them, much like in 2016, to do some self reflecting to figure out how to get back to the top of the NBA mountain.