Klay Thompson’s parents: The NBA player comes from an all-athlete family

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Klay Thompson, the NBA player notable for scoring 60 points under just about 30 minutes, is not a new name. From setting new NBA records to leading the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA Championship in 40 years, Klay is undoubtedly one of the greatest shooters in history.

As he made his long-awaited return this year after his 31-months-long recovery, fans and teammates alike were overjoyed to see him back on his feet. However, the NBA player is not the sole athlete at home as he comes from a family full of professional players. In fact, his parents and siblings are renowned in their own fields.

Klay comes from an all-athlete family as his father was an NBA player and his mother played volleyball

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Klay Alexander Thompson was born on February 8, 1990, in Los Angeles to Julie and Mychal Thompson. His father, Mychal Thompson, is a well-known former NBA player, and his mother, Julie Leslie, was a volleyball player.

Furthermore, his two siblings are both professional athletes as well. While his older brother, Mychel, is a basketball player, his younger brother, Trayce, is a baseball outfielder.

In an interview with The Columbian, Julie states that Mychal had already envisioned a family full of athletes when they first got together. She said;

“I think on one of our first dates, Mychal said, ‘Hey, we would have an All-American… I was like, ‘Oh brother.’ I just rolled my eyes.”

Aside from her athletic pursuits, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. Though Julie has retired from the sports world, she is still very much a part of it through her son’s activities.

“It’s fun to watch [Klay] do something he loves. And, of course, I think he’s really good at it.” Julia told The Columbian. Preferring to stay outside of the spotlight, Julie mentioned that she was “okay with [Klay’s] dad getting all the attention”. She told;

“Can you tell I’m much different from Mychal? I am the humble person in the family, so I don’t like to be interviewed.”

Klay’s father and former NBA player, Mychal Thompson, is now a radio color commentator for the LA Lakers


According to Oregon Live, following his retirement from the NBA in 1991, Mychal and his family moved back to Portland where he co-hosted a radio talk show for five years with Kermit Washington, a former teammate.

However, the Thompsons returned to Los Angeles in 2003 when Mychal went on to work as a radio color commentator for the Lakers. He currently hosts the radio commentary with John Ireland. Despite living in LA for the past many years, Mychal still nurses a soft spot for Portland.

“The Lake Oswego area is our favorite. We still miss it. The boys did not want to move. I felt really guilty about that. Lake Oswego will be always be considered home,” he told Pamplin Media.

Furthermore, early on in his career, Mychal had expressed interest in politics apart from basketball. In a 1987 interview with Los Angeles Times, he says;

“Someday when [Pindling, the former Prime Minister of the Bahamas] becomes tired of being prime minister and wants to move on with his life, maybe that will open the door for other people to succeed him, and I wouldn’t mind throwing my name into the hat. If I have the popularity and support and respect from playing basketball, why can’t I convert that popularity into politics, like Reagan did?”

In 2015, a street leading to Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre in his hometown, Nassau was named the “Mychal Thompson Boulevard” in his honor. He expressed heartfelt gratitude to his heritage during the unveiling ceremony, saying;

“Every time that I came home during my career, every time that I took the floor, I felt the love and support of the Bahamian people. Because of that, we always knew that we had to play for something bigger than ourselves, and that’s The Bahamas.”

Klay’s passion for basketball can be traced to his father’s love for the same sport

Klay Thompson and his father
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It is no accident that Klay chose the same career path as his father. As a former NBA player, Mychal Thompson’s influence on his son’s love for basketball is evident. When asked whether Mychal had any hand in the career graph he chose, Klay told The Washington Post;

“He just taught me the passion for the game. I really love the game because of him. I watched it so much growing up, and he loves it so much to this day. His life is pretty much basketball.”

It is also known that Klay learned the basic skills of the sport at a young age from his father and recognizes him as one of his inspirations.

“My love of hoops comes from him, and just my simple fundamentals. He gave me a ball really young and taught me my form, how to dribble, how to pass at a young age, so I give him a lot of credit.”

Besides, it seems that Mychal was a great mentor in terms of providing constructive criticisms to Klay. He mentions that his father was “not really” tough on him but was instead a proper guide to him during practices and after watching his matches, saying;

“He played the game, so he knows how good I am, so he expects a lot. He’s never mean about it. It’s constructive criticism. “I think you can get to the free-throw line more,” or, “Use your pump fake better.” Stuff like that.”