Klay Thompson was at the ESPYs to accept the award for the best returning athlete in the league this year and cited the late Kobe Bryant. It was an emotional moment for Thompson, who returned to win an NBA title with Golden State after a two-year layoff due to two very serious injuries.
During his acceptance speech, Klay wanted to mention Steph for the first time, saying that he has been in Curry’s shadow for a decade. Thompson also did not forget the Warriors as he showed his appreciation for the trust they had in him:
“I wouldn’t be here without the Warriors. I mean, who pays a guy after breaking an ACL? You don’t know, but they had faith in me.”
Thompson then turned his attention to his long history with the Los Angeles Lakers, the team he has supported since childhood. It was at this point that Klay Thompson revealed how much the late, great Kobe Bryant inspired him during his rehabilitation:
“The best memories I have growing up here in Southern California are when I used to go to Staples with my dad. I would go to all the games early just to see Kobe do his thing. I read Mamba Mentality every day during rehab. These are the best memories of my life watching him play. He inspired me to be the athlete I am today.”.
“I would not be here without the Warriors organization. I mean who pays a guy after tearing his ACL? That’s unheard of but they had faith in me … I read Mamba Mentality everyday during rehab.”
🗣️ Klay Thompsonpic.twitter.com/mGjolzzW3Z https://t.co/C6DSV1ysds
– ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) July 21, 2022