Los Angeles, November 24: Steph Curry insists the Golden State Warriors are ready to adapt to their new role "chasing" the Los Angeles Lakers despite Klay Thompson's latest season-ending injury.
The Warriors reached five straight NBA Finals between 2015 and 2019, winning three titles, but slumped to a 15-50 record at the bottom of the West in 2019-20.
Golden State lost Thompson and Kevin Durant to long-term setbacks in their Finals defeat the previous season, before the latter departed for the Brooklyn Nets.
Curry's own injuries limited him to just five games last term as Thompson sat out the entire season and the team suffered.
The Warriors were expected to return to contention this season, challenging the champion Lakers, but Thompson will again be absent due to a major Achilles blow.
Talk of writing off another campaign is premature, however, according to Curry.
The two-time MVP told ESPN's The Undefeated: "We've been waiting seven months to get back out there.
"Not seeing [Thompson] on the court, at first, is going to be weird. But I think we've done a really good job in the offseason with James [Wiseman, the second overall pick] and our draft picks and in the free agency pool to put together a really solid roster.
"We're going to have to learn a lot really quickly, and we will need a full commitment from everybody.
Klay Thompson suffered a torn right Achilles tendon, an MRI confirmed today in Los Angeles. Thompson suffered the injury in a workout yesterday in Southern California. He is expected to miss the 2020-21 season. pic.twitter.com/w733cWawK6— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 19, 2020
"We know we can compete with anyone in the league. It's kind of crazy. We know how great Klay is - don't get me wrong - but we hear the chatter. 'It's the end for us', 'This year is a wash', 'What are we going to do in the future?'.
"But we are in the moment right now.
"It's kind of refreshing being in that category as guys that are chasing. We know [the Lakers] are the defending champs. We've got to beat them. We're ready for it."
Curry described news of Thompson's new injury as "a gut punch, for sure" and said it prompted "a lot of tears".
But Golden State are hoping to eventually welcome back the five-time All-Star who Curry still considers the best shooting guard in the league.
"He can come back strong. He's a guy that loves the game so much," Curry said. "He is going to do whatever it takes to get back out there on the floor and be himself.
"That's what we hope and that's the confidence that we have. Two and a half years of rehab is tough for anybody. But we're hoping for the best."