Golden State Warriors star guard Klay Thompson looks like his former self again. However, the journey hasn’t been easy. With several roadblocks along the way, Thompson has credited Warriors director Rick Celebrini for helping him get back to his all-star self.
The Warriors are one of the most efficient franchises in the NBA. Driven by the dynamic pairing of Joe Lacob and Bob Myers, the Dubs have enjoyed a lot of success with the two at the helm of operations.
However, along with the management and coaching staff, the Warriors feature a lesser-known entity who the organization has immense faith in. Rick Celebrini.
Celebrini is the director of sports medicine and performance for the Golden State Warriors. The 55-year old, former soccer player has the trust of the entire organization because of his ability to produce results.
While Warriors superstar Steph Curry gave his testimonial for Celebrini’s importance, Klay Thompson also shared how vital Celebrini was to his recovery.
Thompson recalled the incidents following his first ACL injury during the 2019 NBA Finals.
“I tried to go off on my own and do my own thing, seek out my own thing. That backfired. Very badly. So I came crawling back to Rick. Very apologetic.”
Thompson sustained another injury right before the start of the 2020-21 season. He was sidelined once again. After this, he came to Celebrini for help.
“He just guided me through tough days. So many calf raises. So many days on the shuttle board. Then the HydroWorx? Pssh. If it wasn’t for Rick Celebrini, I wouldn’t be where I am today. That’s a fact.”
Purely in terms of tangible results, Celebrini had a lot of success with Thompson. As Klay returns to being the player he was before injury, the Warriors are also prepared to see the best version of him in the playoffs.
Klay Thompson’s performance will be crucial in the playoffs
After much struggle, the Golden State Warriors secured the sixth seed in the West. With a first-round matchup against the Sacramento Kings, the Dubs will be primed to begin their title charge.
It goes without saying that Klay Thompson‘s performances will be vital towards Golden State’s success. As opposed to having one player carry the team, Golden State relies on several players knocking down shots to get other teammates open on the floor.
Klay is the direct counterpart to Steph Curry in this regard. With Klay firing on all cylinders, he can create opportunities for Curry and other teammates to get more looks at the rim. Subsequently, with other players making their shots, Klay also gets open looks.
The symbiotic relationship on offense is also linked to Klay’s contributions on the defensive end. With Thompson still being a competent defender, the Dubs will need their star guard to bring his veteran experience and leadership to both ends of the floor.