Lakers News: Klay Thompson Thanks Kobe Bryant & His Family for ESPY Award

Warriors guard Klay Thompson wins the ESPY for Comeback Player of the Year and thanks the Bryant family during his speech

It seems unimaginable to be able to continue on as a pro athlete after tearing your ACL. For Warriors guard Klay Thompson, he not only tore his ACL in his left knee in 2019, but would also suffer a torn right achilles before the 2020 season causing Thompson to miss 941 days of basketball. 

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Thanks to modern medicine and the will to continue playing, Thompson made it back onto the court for the Warriors and made an impact. Thompson would not play any back-to-back games and played limited minutes, but it was a wonderful sight to see Thompson back on the court with Steph Curry as the greatest 3-point backcourt in NBA history. 

Thompson and the Warriors went on to win the 2022 NBA championship, the team’s fourth ring in the last eight seasons. Thompson also won the ESPY award for Comeback Player of the Year for his grueling rehab and still being able to play at such a high level. 

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In Thompson’s acceptance speech, he thanked the Bryant family for his inspiration to get back onto the court (quotes via LakerChapo)

“I’d like to thank the Bryant family, I don’t know if Vanessa is out there watching. To Vanessa and her three beautiful girls, we think of Kobe and Gigi everyday. I read Mamba Mentality everyday during rehab and those were the best memories of my life watching him play and he inspired me to be the athlete I am today. Thank you Kobe, thank you Gigi.”

It’s no doubt Kobe has inspired athletes all across the world. Even with his passing, it’s always heartfelt knowing the trail he blazed for aspiring athletes like Thompson and being one of the greatest shooters of all time. 

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