Klay Thompson’s dad desperately tried to convince him to join Lakers using Kobe Bryant

Jason Simpson
4 Min Read
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers were recently in the mix to add legendary sharpshooter Klay Thompson, but it wasn’t meant to be, with the veteran ultimately landing with the Dallas Mavericks instead.

Thompson’s father Mychal, who played for the Lakers during his own NBA career, was really hoping to see his son land with the Purple and Gold. He seemingly pulled out all the stops to try to make it happen, but even a sales pitch centered around Kobe Bryant wasn’t enough to get the younger Thompson to join the Lakers.

“Mainly that this was home,” the elder Thompson told Sportskeeda regarding what pitches he used to try to get his son to join the Lakers. “He grew up here basically, and he idolized Kobe. Kobe was his man and basketball idol, and it would’ve been cool just like how I finished my career with my basketball idol in playing with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. That’s who I grew up idolizing. I was able to play alongside him and play in the same uniform as him. I thought that would be a fitting end for Klay to play in Kobe’s uniform and for the franchise that Kobe represented. That would’ve been a nice bookend to his career. But it wasn’t meant to be, so be it.”

The younger Thompson will now get a fresh start with the Mavericks following the end of his tenure with the Golden State Warriors. It’s possible that a stint with the Lakers wouldn’t have represented the type of clean slate he was looking for.

“But something about playing for the Lakers apparently felt too much like playing for the Warriors,” wrote ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Kendra Andrews. “As one source close to him put it, ‘Would this be trading one fishbowl for another?'”

The 34-year-old’s stint with the Warriors was nothing short of legendary, as he contributed to four NBA titles and established himself as one of the best shooters in league history during his time with the franchise. He also earned five All-Star bids, two All-NBA selections and one All-Defense nod during his time there.

With the Mavericks, he’ll get a chance to provide a major boost to a team that reached the NBA Finals this past season but came up three wins short of the ultimate goal.

The elder Thompson had a solid NBA career himself, highlighted by the fact that he won two NBA championships with the Lakers in 1987 and 1988. The only other teams he played for in the NBA were the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs.

For a while, it looked like his son would spend his entire NBA career with one team — the Warriors — but it became clear this offseason that the two sides were bound for a split. Still, the Bay Area will never forget the younger Thompson’s contributions to the organization’s championships in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2022.

Regarding the Lakers, they’re going to have to look for other avenues to improve their roster after missing out on the ex-Warriors star. The offseason is still young, but options are certainly dwindling by the day.

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