A two-time NBA champion and NBA All-Rookie, Mychal Thompson had an impressive basketball career before and after playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Even after his retirement, the Thompson legacy lives on: as father to basketball players Klay Thompson and Mychel Thompson (and baseball player Trayce Thompson), the Thompson family men are living up to the name their father graced them with.
Mychal Thompson Early Life
Born in Nassau, Bahamas, Thompson has always been a fan of the game of basketball. He grew up hanging out at local basketball courts, finding himself swept up in pickup games any time he had the chance. During his teen years, he decided to take his playing abilities to the next level and move to the United States for a chance to improve his ball-handling skills.
Mychal Thompson attended Miami Jackson Senior High School where he became a starting player on the basketball team. He and four other players dubbed the “Jackson 5” played so well together, that they found themselves beating opponents by 30 points a game and winning state championships. By the end of his high school basketball career, Mychal Thompson took his skills to the University of Minnesota where he played his entire collegiate career.
Mychal Thompson Career
Before Mychal Thompson was a Laker, he started his NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers; he was the first overall pick in the first round of the 1978 NBA Draft. This was a historical moment for the NBA, as Thompson became the first foreign-born player to be selected first in the draft.
Thompson played power forward and center positions over the course of eight years with the Trail Blazers and earned a selection to the 1978 All-Rookie team during this time. During the 1987 offseason, Thompson was traded to the San Antonio Spurs, where he played a season and half before being traded to the Lakers.
Thompson came to Los Angeles as backup center and power forward, playing alongside notable names like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and James Worthy. The combination of skills and drive from the entire roster led the team and Thompson to the championships, beginning with the 1987 title against the Boston Celtics.
Thompson would go on to finish out his basketball career with the Lakers on an impressive note, playing 193 out of 197 of the regular season games from the time he joined the team until 1989. After being defeated by the Detroit Pistons in the 1989 Finals, Thompson made the choice to retire from the league.
Today, Thompson finds himself honoring his children for their basketball and baseball careers alongside his wife, Julie Thompson.
Mychal Thompson Rings and NBA Championships
Mychal Thompson made it to the NBA finals twice, both times with the Lakers. The first, as recently mentioned, happened during his first season with the Lakers, when the team won the series in Game 6. Mychal Thompson had 15 points and nine rebounds during this game, playing a massive part in their championship win.
In 1988, the Lakers returned to the NBA finals with the Detroit Pistons, adding another championship to their belts. Mychal Thompson and the Lakers returned to the Finals the following year, playing against the Pistons again, but leaving the court without the crown.
Mychal Thompson Stats
With his experience playing on three different NBA teams, Mychal Thompson’s career stats are as follows:
- G: 935
- PTS: 13.7
- TRB: 7.4
- AST: 2.3
- FG%: 50.4
- FG3%: 8.3
- FT%: 65.5
- eFG%: 50.4
- PER: 15.7
- WS: 59.1
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