Klay Thompson opens up about ‘mental block’ restricting summer basketball play

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Klay opens up about ‘mental block’ restricting summer ball play originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

In the midst of living his best life this past offseason, Klay Thompson didn’t play much summer basketball.

Instead, the Warriors’ star guard focused on his mental health as he finally was able to enjoy a rehab-free offseason after winning his fourth championship in eight seasons.

“I didn’t play a lot this summer. It was hard to,” Thompson told reporters on Saturday before the Warriors’ second preseason game in Japan. “Especially what I went through the last summer I was healthy, popping my Achilles. It was really hard for me to get out there. Just mentally, it was hard.

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“It’s hard to explain, it’s like a mental block in a way. I’m going to face it one day, but this season was so taxing, with the whole coming back. It was hard to win a championship and then a month later, play. It was a lot. But I look forward to playing summer basketball again.”

Thompson suffered a torn left ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. He spent that entire offseason rehabbing and then was ruled out for the entire 2019-20 season.

In February of 2020, the Warriors said Thompson was making good progress and expected to be available for the team’s training camp. And after Golden State had the worst record in the league, Thompson and the Warriors were ready to get back to work for the 2020-21 season.

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And then the unthinkable happened.

On the afternoon of the 2020 NBA Draft, Thompson ruptured his right Achilles tendon while playing pick-up ball with other players down in Los Angeles. Back-to-back injuries robbed Thompson of two prime seasons.

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So when Thompson made his comeback this past January following a 941-day hiatus from the court, won another championship, then got a free summer, he was going to make sure he was cautious of his offseason activities.

Of course, it wasn’t all beer-chugging and jumping off boats. The Splash Bro still got some good workouts in and although not playing in Golden State’s preseason games in Japan, is excited to get back on the court for the regular season.

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The journey to ring number five is right around the corner.

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