Mychal Thompson Rumors
The Lakers’ rebuilding process may appear uncertain. But clarity emerged on another front. The Lakers and KSPN-710AM reached an agreement that will extend their radio play-by-play partnership for two additional seasons up through 2021-22. John Ireland will continue as the Lakers’ radio play-by-play announced, while Mychal Thompson will remain as the color analyst. Lakers president and part owner Jeanie Buss made the announcement on Tuesday as a guest on KSPN-710AM. “ESPN and the ESPN brand are synonymous with excellence, and we’re proud to be affiliated with them,” Lakers Senior Vice President of Business Operations/COO Tim Harris said in a statement. “The management and employees are consummate professionals and people we enjoy working with, and we’re very pleased to extend our partnership with them.”
Dell and Mychal had long been friends, of course. They had been crossing paths for years — Mychal broadcasting for the Lakers and Dell later broadcasting for the Bobcats/Hornets. Now their bond was personal. When Steph and Klay each ended up with the Warriors, they connected as fathers. “I think, with Steph and Klay, experiencing the NBA life early, it paid off for them with confidence,” Dell says. “Seeing that big stage early. They got used to it. It doesn’t affect them. It doesn’t bother them being on a big stage, a big arena.”
At home, Klay was more assertive. He and his brothers would play a family game called, “In the paint.” The first person to score 11 baskets with at least one foot in the paint was the winner. It was a constant game of 2-on-1, the three brothers pummeling each other. Mychel, the oldest, was a slasher-type player who would go on to have a cup of coffee in the NBA, while Trayce, the youngest, weighed more than both of them and would go on to play baseball in the White Sox organization. Klay had to battle to hold his own. “It prepared me for what I was going to see when I got older,” he says. He also remembers what his father said was the key to making the NBA: “Make jump shots, last long, baby,” Mychal would tell him. “If you can shoot the ball, you will have a nice, long career.” So Klay would stick that one foot in the paint and shoot his fadeaway. It became almost automatic. He could already shoot it better than Pops.
“MJ was the man,” he says. Three years later, in 1998, the Bulls again faced the Hornets in the playoffs. On an off day, Jordan and Dennis Rodman were cruising down a Coliseum hallway when 10-year-old Steph came careening around a corner. Michael shook his hand. Steph didn’t want to ever wash it again. Almost every NBA player Steph met asked him, “Can you shoot like your pops?” By the late 1990s, Dell Curry was one of the NBA’s best shooters. He was Sixth Man of the Year in 1993-94 and once shot 47.6 percent from 3-point land. “I’ll never forget it,” says Julie Thompson, Mychal’s wife. “I remember every time Dell shot the ball at the Great Western Forum, our PA announcer, Laurence Tanter, would just go, ‘Dell Curry.’ I mean, I don’t even remember Dell missing a shot.”