No matter how much Klay Thompson presses, it won’t be the Golden State Warriors star’s call whether or not he plays in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
Thompson suffered a hamstring strain early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s crucial victory over the Toronto Raptors. While trying to emphasize minimal contact from Kyle Lowry on a three-point attempt, he splayed his legs wide, landing awkwardly enough that many initially feared Thompson had suffered a serious knee injury. He eventually left the game for good after first attempting to tough it out for two possessions. Despite Thompson’s absence, Golden State held on to beat Toronto 109-104.
The five-time All-Star’s status for Wednesday’s contest has been in doubt ever since. Though an MRI confirmed that Thompson suffered no structural damage, he admitted on Tuesday that he wouldn’t be suiting up for Game 3 unless his pain completely subsided.
During his pre-game media availability, Warriors coach Steve Kerr reiterated that despite Thompson’s pleas to play, the final decision on his status will most likely made by the team’s medical staff.
“He’s making a very strong case,” Kerr said of Thompson, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY. “He wants to play no matter what…He’s trying desperately to be on the floor tonight…We probably won’t let him make the decision.”
Thompson, always critical to Golden State’s success, has seen his value rise to even greater heights in the aftermath of Kevin Durant’s injury. Not only is he one of two active players, along with Steph Curry, capable of putting up big scoring numbers in the face of stellar defense, but he’s also one of the Warriors’ best defensive options on Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard.
Tipoff from Oracle Arena is at 9:00 p.m. EST.