• Roland Lazenby believes Klay Thompson will continue to play at the top level
  • Lazenby hails Thompson as someone who exemplifies what basketball is all about
  • Thompson cherishes the opportunity to return to NBA action

Klay Thompson officially returned to the Golden State Warriors last Sunday, January 9 in their game against the Cleveland Cavaliers and made a big season debut after not playing for 941 days.

The 31-year-old returned grandly, ending up with 17 points, three rebounds and an assist in 20 minutes of action to help the Dubs get past the Cavs, 96-82.

The return of Thompson was perhaps something more than anyone bargained for.

The quiet-natured All-Star had more than enough time to recuperate, and someone who lauded his comeback is renowned sports author Roland Lazenby.

Incidentally, the 69-year-old journalost weighed in on Thompson even before he officially returned when he appeared on the Sports Bytes PH podcast with Brian Yalung and Aldrin Magnaye.

“Seeing someone like Klay Thompson with Golden State or DeMar DeRozan with Chicago, it doesn’t get any better to me,” Lazenby stated. “I’ve spent hours sitting and watching in the arena, the great Kobe, the great Jordan the great Bird, the great Magic. I’ve seen the greats up close. I’ve talked to them all. I will stand up for Klay Thompson any day. That guy, he’s what basketball is all about."

Lazenby hailed the fact that Thompson is a good two-way player, but he remains cautious of what lies ahead, especially considering the five-time All-Star has gone through some serious injuries.

“He just has a game that is two-way, really good at both ends of the floor. Really smart, but we still don’t know what that physical challenge is going to do because he has had some very serious injuries,” Lazenby explained.

Regardless, Lazenby expects the three-time NBA champion to weather adversity and perform as most know him to be.

“Klay Thompson has always done everything to compete at the top level. That doesn’t change,” Lazenby stated.

As for Thompson, he is just taking things one day at a time.

After their win over the Cavs, the 6-foot-6 guard admitted that it was a learning experience for him.

“Sometimes things are just out of your control, and you just got to -- there's always light at the end of the tunnel. That's what I learned. Take things one day at a time because I really looked forward to this moment, but I didn't skip any steps, and maybe during the first rehab, I was probably overeager, I was playing too soon, and no one is self-made. I had a lot, a lot of help,” Thompson told NBC Sports.

Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors Getty Images | Thearon W. Henderson