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Injured Klay Thompson finds motivation from fan's letter

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Klay Thompson returned the love he felt from a letter written by a lifelong Warriors fan. Calling it "incredible," Klay says, "it made me realize why I get to do what I do. My guy Jeff Bird."

Video Transcript

- And got the huge roar--

[CHEERING]

--from the Oracle crowd.

CHRIS ALVAREZ: Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals was the last time we saw Klay Thompson in a game for the Warriors.

STEVE KERR: Klay's mentality-- you know, he wanted to come back in the game. He was ready to go with a torn ACL.

CHRIS ALVAREZ: The Splash Brother was on track for a comeback Klay type of season until a torn Achilles in November sent him to the sidelines for a second straight year.

KLAY THOMPSON: In my mind, I knew what happened. But I wasn't even that emotional, 'cause my heart-- my heart wouldn't accept it at the time.

CHRIS ALVAREZ: So once again Thompson is rehabbing a season-long injury. Insert a lifelong Warriors fan from Eureka to provide Klay some extra motivation.

Bob Myers on the radio spoke about a letter you received recently. Can you reveal what was in that letter and why it's so important to you in your rehab?

KLAY THOMPSON: Oh man, it was one of the greatest things I've read in a long time. Let me pull it up, man. It was incredible.

It made me realize why I get to do what I do. My guy Jeff Bird.

JEFF BIRD: --thinking about his injuries and stuff, and how tough that would be to come back from that. And I was like, well, I'm gonna write that dude a letter.

CHRIS ALVAREZ: Jeff Bird, who played JC basketball at College of the Redwoods wrote about how his former head coach would have loved to see Klay play.

KLAY THOMPSON: Coach [? Treglan, ?] who was his coach, emphasized ball movement, player movement, and being a team. And unfortunately his coach passed away about 10 years ago.

CHRIS ALVAREZ: When you analyzed the clip of what Klay said for about two minutes, what stuck out to you most?

JEFF BIRD: He connected with somebody like caring about watching him play basketball and like his love for basketball.

KLAY THOMPSON: Jeff was funny in his letter. He was like, you know, from an old 39-year-old, just hope your mind's right. And we're watching, and we appreciate what you've done. That meant a lot to me. You just never know who's watching. And that was cool.