The last time most hoop junkies saw Klay Thompson was during the 2019 NBA Finals. He exited Game 6 of that run on a sour note after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee in the third quarter.

From there, Thompson had to sit on the sidelines until he was good to play once more. He returned this 2021-22 season and slowly tried to get back into the groove of things. He had his share of good games, at times stepping up when Steve Kerr needed someone to turn to.

The patience and eventual return of the five-time All-Star were all worth it. He is now a four-time NBA champion after the Warriors closed out their series with the Boston Celtics, 4-2.

In the playoffs, Thompson averaged 19 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 36 minutes of action. These were a tad lower compared to his performance in 2018-19 where he normed 20.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 39 minutes of action.

Toiling for several years, Thompson feels that his frequent swims in the San Francisco Bay contributed to his recovery from injuries.

“I just think the ocean has healing properties that a pool might not have, or a cool tub," Thompson said after winning Game 4. "Just to be immersed in nature like that, it really makes me happy. Your whole body feels so great when you get out of that cold water. Honestly you just feel a little closer to God when you look up at the beautiful skies and you’re just in the ocean."

Looking ahead, the Dubs can make it back-to-back if they stay the course. This also depends on how other teams will retool in the offseason. That all starts in the 2022 NBA Draft set to take place on June 23.

ESPN reporter Lisa Salters interviews Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors
ESPN reporter Lisa Salters interviews Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors Getty Images | Elsa

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