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USA TODAY

For someone who cherishes life and people, Mychal Thompson has struggled processing this past year. 

Thompson’s son, Klay, suffered a ACL injury in his left knee in the Golden State Warriors’ decisive Game 6 loss to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals. Klay has yet to play a game since then

The Los Angeles Lakers’ passionate radio analyst saw his former team compile the best record in the Western Conference because of what he considered the NBA’s best tandem in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But that season then became clouded with tragedy. On Jan. 26, former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others died in a helicopter crash. Less than two months later, the NBA suspended the season because of the novel coronavirus outbreak

But Thompson still has perspective. Even if he has become restless during self-quarantine, he remains grateful that he has had more free time with his wife, Julie, and three sons, Mychel, Klay and Trayce. Thompson spoke to USA TODAY Sports about that and more in a Q&A.

How are you and the rest of the family holding up?

Thompson: “The Thompson family has been blessed both in the United States and in the Bahamas. No family member has contracted the virus. We’re very thankful for that.”

Is the whole family staying together?

Thompson: “Sometimes they’ll come here. But for the most part, the boys are at their place. They have cabin fever and are worried like everybody else. I feel sad for people that have lost their lives and that have been sick. We’re worried about people’s jobs. Like every other citizen in this country, we’re very concerned and very sympathetic toward everybody’s plight.”

Have they all visited and stayed over?

Thompson: “A little bit. Not every day. I wished they’d stay every day. But every now and then, they’ll come by and stop and see us for family gatherings. Then it’s like we’ve gone back 20 years in time. The boys will sit on the couch and play video games. Is this 1997 and 1995 all over again?”

How have the games gone?

Thompson: “It’s so typical. Somebody gets mad and yells out just like they were when they were 10, 12 or 13 years old.”

Where do you think the NBA goes from here?

Thompson: “We’re just waiting for the health officials to give us the okay to start conducting business again. Adam Silver and the owners are waiting. The rest of us employees are in the same boat. If we can get started again soon, I’ll accept anything. Empty arenas. I’ll accept five games and going into the playoffs. I’ll accept no games and then go directly into the playoffs. Anything to get back to work.”

You tweeted that if the season doesn’t resume, the Lakers should be crowned champion …

Thompson: “That would never happen, and it shouldn’t happen. You have to play and earn it on the court. I was just being funny. Nobody would accept it. The Lakers wouldn’t accept a trophy like that. Nobody can be handed a trophy. You have to get on the court and earn it. Why would you think that was serious? I don’t care if we were undefeated. You still have to earn it on the court. I was just saying that because the Lakers are the best team in all of sports. There’s no one more deserving than the most prestigious and the most glamorous team. We’re the most accomplished. Maybe we haven’t won as many titles as the Canadians, the Yankees or the Celtics. But the Lakers are the coolest brand of all of sports. So give them the rings just on the fact alone (laughs).”

How have you been wrestling with that possibility that the Lakers won’t have a chance to win their 17th NBA to tie the Celtics and get their first one since 2010?

Thompson: “I won’t be the only person that is disappointed. Think of all the college kids that weren’t able to finish out their college careers or high school kids that thought they were going to win a title this year. Think of the thousands of schools and dozens of other teams that felt it was their year.”

Why do you think LeBron James had the edge over Giannis Antetokounmpo for MVP?

Thompson: “Giannis is deserving of it too, obviously. If he got it, there would not be any controversy at all. He was just as deserving. But LeBron was playing in a tougher conference.”

How’s Klay holding up and what’s the latest on his health?

Thompson: “He’s frustrated he can’t work out with his teammates. He just works out on his own like everybody else. He can’t work out with other guys in groups. You have to find a place to shoot on your own and do your own exercises. These guys know what to do. You run your sprints alone and can find an empty gym. Get a key to an empty gym and go shoot. All of these guys have connections to a gym.”

Is he fully healthy?

Thompson: “I don’t know. He’s walking around fine. Who knows if he’s cleared to play. He has to get that clearance from his doctors and the Warriors. They haven’t talked about that yet.” (Before the NBA suspended the season on March 11, the Warriors had only cleared Thompson for light shooting drills). 

Follow USA TODAY NBA writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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