Klay explains how being in nature has helped him during rehab

  • Editor's note: All November, NBC Sports Bay Area and California's HeadStrong series will tell important stories that change the narrative surrounding mental health and sports. First up: Warriors superstar Klay Thompson details the mental challenges he faced after back-to-back season-ending injuries.

Klay Thompson is so close to getting back on an NBA court that he can taste it, and it seems as if his spirits continue to improve with each and every day that passes as that long-awaited date nears.

But as you'd expect, while spending the last two and a half years unable to play the game that he loves, Thompson certainly had his fair share of low moments. A torn ACL followed by a torn Achilles provided one gut punch after another, and though they were physical injuries, he was hurting mentally, too.

As part of NBC Sports Bay Area and California's HeadStrong series, Thompson recently discussed the mental challenges he faced throughout his rehab and how getting back to nature was crucial in overcoming them.

"For me, I’m so lucky, I was able to invest in a boat," Thompson said in a full interview that airs Friday on "Warriors Pregame Live". "I’m able to go to the ocean a lot. I grew up in Oregon, I grew up in California, so nature has always been a part of my life, luckily for me. It was tough during the initial stages because I was in a boot, I couldn't really take walks in the park, I couldn't jog. Now I can do those things. I can get outside, I can go to the park, I can bring a couple fishing lines to the ocean.

"The beautiful part about being in nature, you realize how small you are in this world because there’s so much, so many big things around you, whether it’s the Redwoods, the Pacific Ocean, the night sky, the sunshine. There’s something about immersing yourself in nature that really resets my whole spirit. I really believe that."

While he surely would have preferred to gain it another way, that perspective should serve Thompson well long after his playing days are over. Of course, right now, he's just itching to get them started once again.

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