Once upon a time, Klay Thompson was a young basketball fan who had hopes and dreams of meeting his idols. Before he even played a single competitive basketball game, he was just a kid sneaking through the arena to meet Michael Jordan and the '90s Chicago Bulls.
Thanks to an assist from his father, Mychal Thompson — who also played in the NBA and won two championships — Klay got the meet his childhood hero.
Meeting Michael in the tunnel
Thompson recalled that he met Jordan and the Bulls one day during the '97/'98 regular season, the same year when the team won its last championship. The three-time champion lurked at the back of the arena to wait for Jordan, but little did he know he ended up bumping into the whole Bulls team.
"I remember my dad taking us to the back to wait on the tunnel. We were just waiting, we wanted to see Michael and Scottie so bad. I don't think I said a word but just the fact that I was able to be there and meet the legend himself was so motivating for me. I was able to tell all my friends when I went to school. I'll forever cherish that memory and I can always tell my peers, my future kids, that I was able to meet Michael Jordan in his prime and see the Chicago Bulls play. It was truly an honor and something I'll never forget," Thompson shared.
The impact of Mike on Klay's life
Growing up, Thompson made it a goal to become a two-way shooting guard like Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade. True enough, Klay walked his talk and became an integral two-way guard for the Golden State Warriors — the same team that ruled the past decade and continues to do so this season.
Without Jordan's influence, Klay probably wouldn't be who he is today. His defense has always separated Thompson from his peers or even his backcourt buddy Stephen Curry. This isn't a knock on Curry pe se (who has improved his defense over the past couple of years as well) but more so a nod on how impressive of a two-way player Klay is.
Thompson's ability to play on both sides of the floor makes him more than just a perennial shooter. He's a two-way guard who not only will be part of Golden State's history forever but also in the basketball Hall-of-Fame just like his idol, Mike.