After the Golden State Warriors steamrolled the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, shooting guard Klay Thompson made headlines when he proudly declared, “We are better than the ‘Showtime’ Lakers.”
If anyone had a front-row seat to the Lakers’ dominance in that time period, it was Klay Thompson. His father, Mychal Thompson, was a key contributor in helping Los Angeles win two titles in the 80s, and actually agreed with his son’s statement.
On his radio station the “Thompson and Trudell Show,” Mychal said, “Golden State would outscore us 50 to 15 on threes. So how are we supposed to win? So I agree with Klay, I think they would beat us. We couldn’t keep up with them offensively because of the way they can score so quickly.”
However, Magic Johnson, the centerpiece of the ‘Showtime’ Lakers, wasn’t as quick to concede:
When discussing the hypothetical matchup on ESPN’s First Take, Johnson explained, “the Warriors would have bad matchups against us. There’s no way they’re going to deal with Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar). There’s no way they’re going to deal with James Worthy. The thing that we could do, that would affect them and cause some problems, is that we could set up and we could run on them on the fast break.”
Johnson also went on to credit Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for doing amazing things for the league, but didn’t waver on his belief that his Lakers would reign supreme.
“I don’t care who it is,” Johnson said. “I don’t care what Mychal said. … My ‘Showtime’ Lakers would beat the Warriors. I don’t care what you say or anybody else. I’m coming at them and I’m coming hard at them.”
For as exciting of a matchup as this would be, sadly, it’s one that is left to NBA 2K simulations and our collective imaginations.