The fact that the Warriors' Splash Brothers duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have been missing in action for the majority of the ongoing season is no secret. The Warriors are currently bottom of the NBA's Western Conference table, mustering just 10 wins in 45 games all season. However, a little-known fact is that the Warriors' media partners have suffered a major dip in ratings courtesy of the injuries to the 'Splash Brothers'.
The Warriors were expected to kick on from their five-year run to the NBA Finals this season. The Toronto Raptors may have thrown a spanner in the works for the Warriors last season, but the Warriors have arguably been one of the most dominant forces in the NBA over the last five seasons. While Kevin Durant may have departed from the Warriors in the offseason, D'Angelo Russell took his place as sort of a like-for-like replacement for the outgoing two-time NBA champion, thus ensuing a semblance of continuity at the Chase Center.
Steph tries out the play-by-play and takes us to break— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) January 19, 2020
"Khaleesi, Bob Fitzgerald and Stephen Curry will be back." 🤣 pic.twitter.com/4ad3UOYgAY
Klay Thompson suffered a torn ACL in last year's NBA Finals. The injury effectively ruled him out for the rest of the season. While he has returned to training with the Warriors, Klay Thompson is expected to sit out the rest of the season. Stephen Curry fractured his left hand during the Warriors' game against the Phoenix Suns last year. The three-time NBA champion underwent surgery on his left hand and a metacarpal of his index finger in November last year. While he is expected to make his NBA return in the next week or so, the Warriors can salvage little from their dismal season.
Meanwhile, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry have taken up the roles of “sideline reporters” during the Warriors' games this year. In fact, the Warriors have a silver lining of a record when Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have featured as sideline reporters for the Warriors. The effort to involve the Splash Brothers off the court is seen as a way of offsetting the dramatic drop in ratings for the Warriors' NBA games this season. According to a number of reports, there has been a reported 51% drop in local ratings for Warriors games this term.
However, media partners of the Warriors have manufactured their own silver lining from the Splash Brothers' absence. There is a consensus among the Warriors' media partners that, with increased competition from the Lakers, Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks, a run to the Western Conference Finals is no more a foregone conclusion. The hope from the media partners, therefore, is that the Warriors will have to take the regular-season games more seriously next year. This could mean that Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson could be running the show on an almost daily basis for the Warriors next season.