Mychal George Thompson (born January 30, 1955) is a retired professional basketball player from the Bahamas and the father of NBA player Klay Thompson. He played both the power forward and center positions and played for the National Basketball Association's Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers.
Early life Edit
Thompson was born in Nassau, Bahamas, but moved to the United States as a youth, settling in Miami, Florida and he attended Miami Jackson Senior High School. In his senior year in 1974 as part of a starting lineup nicknamed the "Jackson 5" featuring himself, 3 other Bahamians and a Cuban, the Generals mowed through the regular season beating opponents by an average of 30 points per game en route to a 33-0 record and winning the Class 4A state championship over Winter Park High School. The title was won with 4 key ineligible players, including Thompson, on Miami Jackson's team. He then attended the University of Minnesota where he had a standout collegiate career.
NBA career Edit
The Portland Trail Blazers made Thompson the number one pick in the 1978 NBA draft, the first foreign-born player to be selected first.
Thompson was a fixture in the Portland lineup for eight years (though one season was missed due to injury), where he started at both power forward and center positions. He was named to the 1979 All-Rookie team, and had his statistically best season in 1981–82, where he averaged over 20 points and 11 rebounds per game. In the 1986 off-season, Thompson was traded to the Spurs in exchange for center/forward Steve Johnson.
Thompson played only half a season with the Spurs, before he was traded again, this time to Los Angeles for center/forwardFrank Brickowski, center Pétur Guðmundsson and a 1990 first-round draft choice. He was brought to the Lakers in February 1987 to back up Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and defend Boston Celtics forward Kevin McHale, against whom he played great defense. This gave the Lakers a team that had four players who were overall #1 selections in the NBA draft, the others being Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and James Worthy. Of those four, Thompson is the only one not enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Thompson helped the Showtime Lakers win consecutive titles in 1987 and 1988, and he retired in 1991.
Post-NBA career Edit
Mychal is currently employed as the Lakers radio color commentator. He first worked with Joel Meyers, then Spero Dedes, and is currently paired with John Ireland. He was a co-host on the "Loose Cannons" radio show on KLAC AM570 in Los Angeles but was let go, due to the move of Lakers broadcasts from AM570 to KSPN AM710 for the 2009-10 season. With the move to KSPN AM710, he joined Andrew Siciliano as co-hosts on the "LA Sports Live" radio show on KSPN AM710 until the show was canceled on December 26, 2010.
As of 2011, he co-hosts ESPNLA NOW, on KSPN AM 710 from 10am-noon on weekdays. His partner Mark Willard was let go by the station on August 29, 2014, since then the show has cycled through fill-ins to join Mychal.
Personal life Edit
His oldest son, Mychel , played for the Pepperdine University men's basketball team and made his NBA debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2012. His middle son, Klay , played for the Washington State University men's basketball team and was selected with the 11th pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors who won the 2015 NBA Finals. His youngest son, Trayce , is currently in the minor league system of the Chicago White Sox. Mychal married his wife Julie in 1987. Thompson is nicknamed "sweet bells" afterWalt Bellamy who was nicknamed 'bells'. Thompson's documentary about his life 'The Trailblazer' previewed at LA Live's Regal Cinemas 7PM on November 21, 2013.
- Miami News,Oct. 30,1975
- "Yao Ready For This?". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. June 25, 2002. Archived from the original on 1 September 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
- Mychal Thompson stats at Basketball Reference
- LA Sports Live with Mychael Thompson and Andrew Siciliano at ESPN.com