SAN FRANCISCO -- Klay Thompson's return to the court might as well be a holiday in the Bay Area. Swarms of Golden State Warriors fans lined up outside Chase Center before Sunday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, in eager anticipation of Thompson's first NBA game in 941 days -- which turned out to be a 17-point performance for Klay and a Warriors win.
Throughout the season, Warriors players have shared their personal memories and connections with Thompson, expressing how much they looked forward to his return. On Sunday, with the day finally upon us, they paid tribute to their teammate ahead of tip-off. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and every single Warriors player sported a No. 11 Klay Thompson jersey to the game.
In his pregame press conference, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he didn't know where the idea originated, but he was excited to see his team showing love for Thompson on such an important day.
"Nobody could possibly know what he went through other than Klay," Kerr said. "So that's what tonight is about, is all of us showing our appreciation for what he's had to go through individually and expressing our affection for him."
Thompson will start Sunday's game and is expected to play in five-minute stints. Kerr didn't give an exact number, but said Thompson is "not going to play a huge number of minutes" as they ease him into his role.