Much like the Los Angeles Lakers, Klay Thompson has some very tough decisions to make this summer. Unlike the Lakers, though, Thompson has playoff basketball to keep him occupied until the time when he has to make that call.
Mychal Thompson (a Lakers legend, current radio broadcaster for the team and, most importantly, Klay’s father) says he fields questions from fans about what his son might be thinking fairly constantly and, quite frankly, it’s an awkward position to put him in.
Kyle Goon of the OC Register caught up with Mychal on the subject, and, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be lobbying Klay to put on the purple and gold:
Make no mistake, Mychal would love for Klay to come home to Southern California — someday after his playing career is over.
“He’ll be happy here, he loves the good weather,” Mychal said. “I always tell him when he’s retired, he’ll have another 40 years to spend here. He’s in no rush to get back.”
It’s funny to hear Mychal talk about the weather here seeing as it was the ocean water that Klay credited for his playoff success on Sunday. Just imagine how great Klay would be if he had constant access to Southern California beaches.
Mychal’s response here is also great seeing as he’s created a fantastic post-playing career in the L.A. area, and has become a fan favorite thanks in large part to his playful personality. But while Mychal seems to have a good approach to fielding questions constantly about Klay’s future, his response does highlight how these situations can probably be somewhat taxing:
That doesn’t mean he doesn’t get bugged around his neighborhood, where strangers approach him in the grocery store or at the coffee shop and ask if Klay is coming back to Los Angeles to team up with LeBron James and lead the franchise back into the postseason.
“I can’t go anywhere,” Mychal said. “Ultimately it’s a compliment: Lakers fans want him to play here. But I don’t think that way. I think the Lakers are gonna be fine. I don’t see Klay coming out here as a savior.”
Think of it this way: Mychal obviously has a say in how Klay might perceive his various options. As a father, all Mychal could do was raise his children as best he could and hope that one day, when presented with the situation Klay is going to face this summer, he’ll have taken in those lessons from Mychal’s parenting and can apply them to making the best call for himself and his family.
Constantly barraging Mychal with questions about what Klay might do comes from a positive place (as Thompson pointed out), but also puts him in that awkward spot where he can’t say anything even if he knew what was coming. Asking Mychal to try to convince Klay to come to the Lakers applies pressure to do something he might not even think is in his son’s best interests. To be clear, it does not seem like the Lakers themselves are asking him to do so, just some fans that want to see the team be as good as possible (which is also understandable).
I’ll put it this way: If your son had attained the success Klay has with the Golden State Warriors and could make more money by staying in Oakland, would you force him to come to the Lakers simply because you played for that team decades prior? Even in a vacuum that’s not a great proposition. If you factor into that equation how things have gone recently for the Lakers and the perpetual state of chaos they have been in lately, would you honestly advise your son to leave the Warriors for this organization?
I honestly couldn’t ask that of my son in that situation, and thus don’t find it all that fair to hope Mychal might with Klay.
At the end of the day, it’s great to be wanted and it has to be a source of pride for Mychal to have an entire city begging for his son to come and help turn around the team he won championships with. It sure as hell beats the alternative of that would be people begging him to tell his son to not come to L.A.
But if Klay asks his dad for advice, it’s on Mychal to guide his son to what would be best for himself and his family, no matter which team he currently works for, or played for in the past. That’s just what any good parent would do.