Mychal Thompson

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Mychal Thompson
Mychal Thompson.jpg
Thompson in 2012
Personal information
Born (1955-01-30) January 30, 1955 (age 63)
Nassau, Bahamas
Nationality Bahamian
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school Jackson (Miami, Florida)
College Minnesota (1974–1978)
NBA draft 1978 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Portland Trail Blazers
Playing career 1978–1992
Position Power forward / Center
Number 43, 00, 4
Career history
19781986 Portland Trail Blazers
1986–1987 San Antonio Spurs
19871991 Los Angeles Lakers
1991–1992 Juvecaserta Basket
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 12,810 (13.7 ppg)
Rebounds 6,951 (7.4 rpg)
Blocks 1,073 (1.1 bpg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Mychal George Thompson (born January 30, 1955) is a Bahamian retired basketball player. He played the power forward and center positions for the University of Minnesota and the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, and Los Angeles Lakers. Thompson won two NBA championships with the Lakers during their Showtime era in the 1980s, he is the father of basketball players Klay Thompson and Mychel Thompson, and baseball player Trayce Thompson.

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 basketball starting lineup nicknamed the "Jackson 5" featuring himself, three 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 four key ineligible players (due to falsified birth records), including Thompson, on Miami Jackson's team.[1] He then attended the University of Minnesota where he had a standout collegiate career.

NBA career[edit]

The Portland Trail Blazers made 6'10" (208 cm) Thompson the number one pick in the 1978 NBA draft, the first foreign-born player to be selected first.[2]

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 arguably 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/forward Frank 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. This gave the Pat Riley coached Lakers a team that had four players who were overall #1 selections in the NBA draft, the others being Abdul-Jabbar (1969), Magic Johnson (1979), and James Worthy (1982). Of those four, Thompson is the only one not enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame or to have his number (43) retired by the Lakers.

Although he rarely started for the Lakers (during the 1987–88 season he played in 104 of the 106 Lakers games, all from the bench), Thompson proved more than a capable back up at center for the aging Abdul-Jabbar (and later Vlade Divac) and power forward for A. C. Green. Thompson won consecutive titles with the Lakers in 1987 and 1988 and reached the Finals in 1989. Mychal Thompson retired in 1991.

As of 2018, Mychal and his son Klay, are the fourth father-son duo to have each won an NBA Championship as a player; the others were (in chronological order of completing the feat), Matt Guokas, Sr. and his son Matt Guokas, Jr., Hall of Famer Rick Barry and his son Brent Barry, and Hall of Famer Bill Walton and his son Luke Walton. The Thompsons, along with the Waltons, are also the only father-son tandems to have each won two championships each, with the Thompsons being the only tandem to win in two consecutive years.

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes seasons in which Thompson won an NBA championship

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1978–79 Portland 73 29.4 .490 .572 8.3 2.4 0.9 1.8 14.7
1980–81 Portland 79 35.3 .494 .000 .641 8.7 3.6 0.8 2.2 17.0
1981–82 Portland 79 78 39.6 .523 .628 11.7 4.0 0.9 1.4 20.8
1982–83 Portland 80 80 37.7 .489 .000 .621 9.4 4.8 0.9 1.4 15.7
1983–84 Portland 79 74 33.5 .524 .000 .667 8.7 3.9 1.1 1.4 15.7
1984–85 Portland 79 55 33.1 .515 .684 7.8 2.6 1.0 1.3 18.4
1985–86 Portland 82 78 31.3 .498 .641 7.4 2.1 0.9 0.4 14.7
1986–87 San Antonio 49 6 24.7 .436 1.000 .735 5.6 1.8 0.6 0.8 12.3
1986–87 L.A. Lakers 33 1 20.6 .480 .000 .743 4.1 0.8 0.4 0.9 10.1
1987–88 L.A. Lakers 80 0 25.1 .512 .000 .634 6.1 0.8 0.5 1.0 11.6
1988–89 L.A. Lakers 80 8 24.9 .559 .000 .678 5.8 0.6 0.7 0.7 9.2
1989–90 L.A. Lakers 70 70 26.9 .500 .706 6.8 0.6 0.5 1.0 10.1
1990–91 L.A. Lakers 72 4 15.0 .496 .000 .705 3.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 4.0
Career 935 454 29.7 .504 .083 .655 7.4 2.3 0.7 1.1 13.7

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1979 Portland 3 40.3 .500 .500 10.3 2.0 0.7 1.7 19.7
1981 Portland 3 44.0 .608 .722 7.7 1.3 1.0 3.0 25.0
1983 Portland 7 40.6 .471 .658 8.0 5.6 0.9 1.1 15.0
1984 Portland 4 30.3 .500 .773 7.3 3.8 1.3 0.8 15.3
1985 Portland 9 0 27.8 .490 .673 8.0 1.6 0.8 1.3 14.8
1986 Portland 4 4 35.0 .574 .538 8.3 3.5 0.3 0.8 19.0
1987 L.A. Lakers 18 0 22.3 .453 .680 4.9 0.5 0.4 0.9 8.8
1988 L.A. Lakers 24 0 25.6 .513 .581 7.1 0.5 0.7 0.9 9.7
1989 L.A. Lakers 15 0 25.1 .508 .683 5.1 0.7 0.4 0.8 11.4
1990 L.A. Lakers 9 8 25.0 .477 .615 4.3 0.2 0.2 1.4 6.4
1991 L.A. Lakers 8 0 5.3 .286 1.1 0.0 0.0 0.4 0.5
Career 104 12 26.0 .501 .648 6.0 1.2 0.5 1.0 10.9

Post-NBA career[edit]

Thompson and his family moved back to Portland in 1991 after his career, he worked on local sports radio in the area. He and his family relocated back to Los Angeles in 2003 when he was offered a job as a color commentator for the Lakers. 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; he is now partnered with Mike Trudell.

Personal life[edit]

Thompson married his wife Julie in 1987,[3] his oldest son, Mychel, played basketball for Pepperdine University and made his NBA debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2012. His middle son, Klay, played basketball for Washington State University and was selected with the 11th pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors who won the 2015, 2017, and 2018 NBA Finals. His youngest son, Trayce, plays baseball for the Chicago White Sox.

Thompson is nicknamed "sweet bells" after Walt Bellamy, who was nicknamed "bells."[4] Thompson's documentary about his life "The Trailblazer" was previewed at Regal Cinemas at LA Live in Los Angeles on November 21, 2013.[5]

Thompson once implied he had interest in becoming Bahamian Prime Minister, before he joined the NBA, some fans believed him to be the cousin of fellow NBA player (and basketball Hall of Fame member) David Thompson.[6] A street in Nassau leading to the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre was named "Mychal Thompson Boulevard" in his honor during 2015.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Miami News,Oct. 30,1975
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ "Thompson & Trudell Show - PodCenter - ESPN Radio". 
  4. ^ "Max & Marcellus: [hr2]". 
  5. ^ "thebahamasweekly.com - ESPN hosts Bahamian film 'The Trailblazer' in Los Angeles". 
  6. ^ EDES, GORDON (22 February 1987). "BAHAMAS' MAIN MAN : Mychal Thompson Someday Might Be the Prime Minister" – via LA Times. 
  7. ^ Administrator. "Mychal Thompson honored with street in his name". 

External links[edit]