Los Angeles Lakers: 50 Greatest Players in Lakers History (Updated 2023)

(Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
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Greatest Lakers of all time: 27- Mychal Thompson

  • 5 seasons, 335 games, 2 titles
  • 8.9 PPG
  • 5.4 RPG

Many now know him as a Lakers radio commentator and the father of Warriors star Klay Thompson. But Mychal was also quite a player.

He was selected by Portland with the top pick of the draft in 1978, and during 7 seasons there he averaged over 17 points and 9 rebounds. By 1986, Thompson was a key reserve for a Spurs team that was going nowhere. Then in February 1987, during the heart of the Showtime era, Mychal was traded to the Lakers- much to his delight, as LA was his favorite team while he grew up in the Bahamas.

His down-to-earth stats with the Lakers fail to show his true value. The team had so many offensive weapons that they didn’t need much scoring from Thompson. But Mychal made his biggest impact on the defensive end. He became the team’s stopper against the Celtics’ Kevin McHale, who killed the Lakers during both the 1984 and 1985 Finals before Thompson arrived. The two had been college teammates at the University of Minnesota, and Mychal knew how to guard him better than anyone in the league.

The Showtime Lakers made the NBA Finals 4 times in his 5 seasons, winning titles in both 1987 over Boston and 1988 against Detroit. Thompson happily embraced a backup role, playing roughly half the game at both center and power forward. He was regularly on the court during fourth quarter crunch time.