Klay Thompson, seen here Dec. 21, played in front of his father, Mychal, on Friday. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Klay Thompson, seen here Dec. 21, played in front of his father, Mychal, on Friday. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Splash Father: Mychal Thompson keeps tabs on Klay from afar

OAKLAND — The night before the Golden State Warriors held off the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday at Oracle Arena, Klay Thompson and his dad, Mychal, broadcaster and former member of the Showtime Lakers, did what they always do when their busy NBA lives cross paths. They hung out at Klay’s house and ate dinner.

“We talk like we’re typical NBA fans,” Mychal said before calling the Warriors’ 113-106 win.

“We always talk about the league and different teams and different players and how the league is going and what to look for in the future as far as who’s the biggest threat to the Warriors.”

Klay, as his head coach Steve Kerr so often says, is as low maintenance as it gets. He’s the chillest dude in the NBA.

“That’s how he is off the court too,” Mychal said. “He just wants to play golf, shoot baskets, hang out with his friends, hang out with Rocco. Klay, he doesn’t seek the spotlight or always [need to] be in the center of things. He’s quite content just to go fishing or play some golf by himself.”

On a far more typical night, when Mychal is in one NBA city and Klay is in another, dad still makes sure to keep an eye on his nonchalant son.

On Wednesday, while Klay was dropping 25 first-half points on the Memphis Grizzlies, Mike Trudell, the Lakers sideline reporter, tweeted out a picture of Mychal watching the game on his phone as the team bus made its way to the Houston airport.

“Thank god for modern technology,” Mychal said.

Mychal’s always watching but that doesn’t mean he’s forever peppering Klay with texts and advice. The No. 1 overall pick in 1978, the elder Thompson is the anti-LaVar Ball.

“I could not get away with that,” Mychal said. “My boys think LaVar is entertaining but they don’t want me doing it.”

His wife, Julie, wouldn’t stand for it either.

“He would be divorced too,” joked Trudell, who was seated next to Mychal in the Lakers radio booth.

When Klay first arrived in the NBA, his parents would dole out an allowance and even fine him out of his paycheck for foolish actions on the court.

Those days are long gone.

“What do I have to tell him?” Mychal said. “His career has lapped mine 10 times. He’s a two-time gold medalist, two-time NBA champ, three-time All-Star — obviously I won a couple of rings, but I was just a role player. He’s a primary player.”

Perched atop the lower bowl at centercourt, where Mychal makes the radio call, nights like Friday, when the pair share a gym, can be stressful for dad. That was the case last Monday when Klay was 6-for-24 from the field at Staples Center in the Warrior’ overtime win.

“It’s fun when he’s playing well. When he’s having an off night like he had in LA, I get frustrated for him,” Mychal said. “When he’s on his game, when he’s doing his thing, it’s a lot of fun — even though it’s a lot of tension because I want him to do well and when he’s not playing the Lakers, I want him to win every game.”

As the Warriors pushed their win streak to 11, Klay had another off night with dad in the building, scoring 20 points but making just seven of his 18 field goals.

True to form, the understated Splash Brother slipped out of the locker room before it was his turn to take the podium.

Mychal headed off to the airport, a team flight to Portland awaiting. The Warriors and Lakers don’t meet again this season, which means the next time Mychal will see Klay play  in person will be the postseason — his favorite time of year.

“The playoffs are very tense, but I get a lot of enjoyment watching him play,” Mychal said. “I’m very thankful he can live his dream like this.”

kbushceck@sfexaminer.comGolden State WarriorsKlay ThompsonLos Angeles LakersMychal ThompsonNBA

Just Posted

On Sunday, California bore the brunt of what meteorologists referred to as a bomb cyclone and an atmospheric river, a convergence of storms that brought more than half a foot of rain to parts of the Bay Area, along with high winds, concerns about flash floods and the potential for heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada. Much of the Bay Area was under a flash flood watch on Sunday, with the National Weather Service warning of the potential for mudslides across the region. (NOAA via The New York Times)
Bomb cyclone, atmospheric river combine to pummel California with rain and wind

What you need to know about this historic weather event

National Weather Service flood watch in the San Francisco Bay Area for Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (National Weather Service via Bay City News)
Storm pounds Bay Area, leaving over 145,000 without power: Closures and updates

Torrential rainfall causes flooding, triggers evacuations in burn areas

Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
Plan Bay Area 2050: Analyzing an extensive regional plan that covers the next 30 years

Here are the big ticket proposals in the $1.4 trillion proposal

A collaborative workspace for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in Coordinape is pictured at a recent blockchain meet up at Atlas Cafe. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Business without bosses: San Francisco innovators battle bureaucracy with blockchain

‘The next generation will work for three DAOs at the same time’

Most Read