The Jim Rome Show: Steve Clifford talks Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard
Klay Thompson has only ever played for the Golden State Warriors, but he still has an affinity for the Los Angeles Lakers. His father, Mychal Thompson, played for the Lakers from 1987-1991 and won two championships alongside Magic Johnson. Before Thompson re-signed with the Warriors last summer, there were persistent rumors that he would consider following in his father’s footsteps by joining the Lakers.
That didn’t come to pass, but on Friday, Thompson shared a gift given to him by one of the greatest Lakers of all time. Kobe Bryant released a book in 2018 entitled “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play.” He gave Thompson a copy of that book. Inscribed on the inside cover were the words “rings rings rings rings.”
The book was released at the beginning of the 2018-19 season, right after Thompson had won his third ring with the Warriors. With Kevin Durant still in a Warriors uniform, the Warriors were favored to win a fourth. Bryant famously won five with the Lakers, and has spoken openly about how championships were by far the most important thing in evaluating players to him.
Bryant died in January in a tragic helicopter accident. Afterward, Thompson posted a heartfelt tribute to his former NBA opponent on Instagram.
In that message, Thompson reveals that Bryant was his favorite player growing up. That must have made this gift that much more meaningful. Bryant’s inscription reads as validation for Thompson’s career. Kobe viewed Klay as a winner, and there is no greater compliment from the Mamba.