Setback for a Comeback … Welcome back, Klay

It was extremely great watching Klay Thompson (KT), Golden State Warriors (GSW)’s number 11, suit up and play again yesterday.

Klay Thompson had been out of the game for two-and-a-half years having suffered two back-to-back injuries; first an ACL during the 2019 NBA Finals and then rupturing his achilles during the 2020 NBA Draft. 2019 was definitely not the Dubs’ year. It was devastating watching it happen in 2019 during Game 6 as GSW was contending for that year’s Championship. After a year off, Klay returned only to rupture his Achilles on Draft Day. Bad as it was, it was preposterous that it happened on Draft Day; giving the Warriors’ Executive Team a quick strategic maneuver on its Draft selection.

KT, the Splash brother, was definitely and apparently missed by all; Team, fans, and the media. Though his other Splash brother, Steph Curry, held the forth in his absence, Klay’s contribution to the Team and game of basketball left a void that was terribly felt and unfillable.

The Splash Brothers, Steph and Klay, earned their alias as a result of their duo-dynamite three-point shootings from any angle. Both changed the basketball landscapes with their shootings.

Way to recovery …

The road to recovery for any athlete after a bad injury is often an emotional tumultuous journey that requires character-defining traits and values that will uphold one through till the end of the journey. While some players recover fast, others have a slow recovery. While some players return to their normal or better state, others seem to slump and finally stop playing; thus ending their athletic career. Even the strongest, positive, and most-optimistic player still has intermittent doubts and questions such as:

  • What if I do not fully recover?
  • What if I’m no longer as good?
  • What if I’m traded because of this injury?
  • What if other teams think my useful years are over?
  • What if no team wants me?
  • What if the injury ends my career?
  • A gazillion what-ifs hardly with no futuristic answers.

Klay obviously had a few question and or doubts.

After the initial surgery and recovery, Klay was always seen on the bench cheering his teammates and, after games, chatting with the analysts. His return date has been speculated a few times. He had even been sequestered to the Warriors’ G League which is a minor development team for the GSW. Having held up strong and mute about his hiatus and injuries over the years, rarely speaking about the injury nor his recovery, Klay finally and publicly showed his emotions after a Warriors’ game in late November. He was seen still being on bench long after the crowds had dispersed the Chase Center.

I was personally touched by Klay’s emotions. The wait and “weight” of not playing must have taken a big toil on him wondering why his return was being delayed.

The wait is finally over

He finally had his day of return on Sunday. I was overjoyed for him, like tons of fans and colleagues were, to finally watch him play again.

Click the links below to watch the various highlights on Klay’s return and game on Sunday:

  1. https://www.nba.com/news/nba-players-react-to-klay-thompsons-return
  2. https://gsw.page.link/k8TyojQZqdqDFojh7i
  3. https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/klay-thompsons-triumphant-return-to-warriors-brings-unbridled-joy-emotion-when-fans-need-it-the-most/
  4. https://www.nba.com/news/klay-thompson-return-feature
  5. https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/33028982/nba-players-celebrate-klay-thompson-return-more-two-years

Setback happens to all

If you live long enough, it is certain that one would experience one form of setback. Life often can hand us lemons and bad things often does happen to the best of folks that set us back in many ways than one. It could be a health/physical setback, like Klay’s and several other basketball players/athletes. The physical setback can have a domino effect on one’s finances, emotions, and sometimes spiritual.

What do you do when it happens?

Many murmur and complain. We ask tons of unanswered questions and can recluse. We play the blame game. Why me? I have, too, at some point. We can stop living especially when we lack helpful and positive relationships concluding that none seems to understand our predicament.

However, only few understand that at such point we cannot and should not step on the brakes. It is a turning point. What we turn round to, blame or control, will make the difference.

The proverbial “when life gives you lemon, you make lemonade,” suffices. A professional football player, for example, who suffers injury that ends his football career can turn to a new other career as a coach or recruiter or game analyst. The point is that all is not lost. It might be the end of a season, but definitely not the end of one’s life or career.

7 Steps to a Comeback

  1. Have a positive outlook that things will be better
  2. Choose the people to surround yourself with.
  3. Do everything within your power to get better. It might mean learning new skills.
  4. If new skills are involved, be gentle on yourself, realizing that there’s a learning curve which is different for each person.
  5. Take life one day at a time
  6. Every step you take will eventually turn to giant strides.
  7. Be consistent.

If you do the work, optimism will lift you up to your eventual comeback which will propel you to a better state than you were before.

Glad that Klay did the work; long though it was, and is back to doing what he does best. GSW’s chances of winning this year’s Championship got much better with your return … The Game just got started. WELCOME BACK, KLAY!

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