“I’ll be excited to suit up,” he told Kerr.
For a man who didn’t think he’d walk again, following a scary fall in the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at the Golden 1 Center on March 31, the occasion was marked just like the rest of his milestones on his way back to the floor.
“He doesn’t say a whole lot,” Kerr said.
It’s been almost two months since McCaw, 22, lost feeling in his legs, after he went up for a lay-up and was undercut by the Kings’ Vince Carter, then came crashing down on his lower back. It’s been almost two months since he laid on the court for 10 minutes, before being carted out on a stretcher. It was largely thought that, after struggling just to walk again, that the lumbar spine contusion McCaw suffered would keep him out until the NBA Finals, at the very least.
After having started to get shots up the last two weeks, traveling to Houston with the team, playing in a couple scrimmages and pushing through knee soreness, McCaw was activated.
“I couldn’t wait, when he told me,” McCaw said. “I called my mom. I called my dad, let them know I would be putting my uniform on tonight. I’m kind of really lost for words, and still trying to figure it out. Like, it’s crazy.”
With the knee injury to Andre Iguodala shortening the rotation, and both Quinn Cook and Nick Young playing heavy minutes off the bench, the Warriors needed another wing.
“It’ll be a tough spot to put him in, in the meat of the game, with not having played for a long time,” Kerr said before Game 6. “At this point, it’s all hands on deck, obviously. You never know how the game’s going to play out. I have teammates who literally played one play in a playoff game, and made a play and helped us win a game, so you just never know.”
With 4:28 to go in the fourth quarter on Saturday, and the Warriors up 106-81, McCaw entered, and received a standing ovation.
“I didn’t really forget how to shoot a basketball or play defense,” McCaw said. “It’s just getting that feeling back, getting up and down, and just being on the floor again with my teammates. It’s unreal.”
His step-back jumper with 2:57 to go was one of the most-cheered moments of the night.