• Steve Kerr admits it's been a while since Klay Thompson played five-on-five
  • The Golden State Warriors are expected to be back in full strength for the 2021 season
  • Golden State hires Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa as the team aims to be back in contention for next season

The 2020 NBA Season was a complete 360 turn for the Golden State Warriors, but the erstwhile celebrated dynasty has no plans of breaking its core for the foreseeable future, especially with Klay Thompson expected back in harness to bolster the team’s lethal first unit.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Thompson is looking great. Amidst concerns surrounding the progress and conditioning of the sharpshooting All-Star, the 54-year-old said he is not overly concerned.

“Yeah, it’s been a while for him,” Kerr admitted as he was asked by Anthony Slater of The Athletic of the last time Thompson played five-on-five.

“But I have seen him a couple of times this summer in Orange County, watched him work out and he’s doing great. He really looks fantastic. So I’m not too worried about Klay. Playing five-on-five is the next logical step for him.”

Thompson has been out of basketball action since suffering an ACL tear during the 2019 NBA Finals, which the Warriors lost the Toronto Raptors in six games.

The Warriors are expected to be back at full strength for the 2021 season, headed by their lethal backcourt featuring Thompson and Stephen Curry, who also missed a chunk of games in the 2020 season due to his own injury.

While talent was paramount during their dominant run from 2015 to 2019, the Warriors have also proven that it is their commitment to winning that brought multiple titles to the Bay Area.

In dire need of the right people to preserve the culture, the Warriors have opted to keep, and even recall, trusted persons who have known the formula of success in Golden State.

Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa, members of the past dynasty, will be continuing to represent the Dub Nation, but on a diverse role.

Livingston has landed a front-office job as director of player affairs and engagement while being “groomed” to become a general manager, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic.

Barbosa, meanwhile, is set to join Kerr’s staff as a “player mentor coach.” The Brazilian was known among Warriors fans as a member of the 2015 squad’s vicious bench mob that helped the team win its first title in decades.

The last season was a tough year for Golden State. But the team is upbeat of its chances next year, especially with the chance to acquire a top-tier talent with the second overall pick in the upcoming rookie draft.

Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors is introduced prior to playing the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, Dec. 01, 2018. Getty Images/Gregory Shamus