College kids get busted for pot all the time. But not every kid is the superstar of the school's basketball team. And not every superstar of the basketball team has a father who is a former NBA star with a large mouthpiece.
Bud Withers of The Seattle Times got a hold of Klay Thompson's father, Mychal Thompson, for his thoughts on his son's arrest. If Klay felt humiliated after being arrested, I can only imagine how he must feel being after being publicly aired out by his father this morning:
"I'm so ticked off at him, I told him he needs to think about getting his degree and finishing up," said the senior Thompson. " 'You've got a lot of amends to make.' That's what I think. He's supposed to be the leader of this team, and they depend on him, and he does something stupid like this. I told him, 'Doing something like this shows how irresponsible you are.'
"There's no excuse for it."
There's more in there, too. If I was Klay, I would have shrunk from about 6-foot-6 to about 6 inches by now.
The part that grabbed my attention was the part about how Klay is "supposed to be the leader of this team." We've spent the majority of the year trying to shout down readers who insist that this team doesn't have a talent problem, it has a leadership problem. We say things like, "How, exactly, do you measure leadership?" and "How do you know there's a leadership issue without watching practices, video sessions, etc.?"
There might not be direct observational evidence for a lack of leadership, but the circumstantial evidence has now piled up to a point you can't ignore.
- DeAngelo Casto is late for something earlier this year, doesn't start the next game.
- Reggie Moore is cited for marijuana and paraphernalia after it's found in his room during a search, later suspended for a game.
- Thompson late for a bus, doesn't start.
- Thompson arrested and cited for marijuana, suspended for at least one game.
This is all just this season, and these are the team's three best players. Leaders don't do dumb crap like this. Leaders make sure they're above reproach. And the guys that are supposed to be this team's "leaders" all have had mild to severe lapses in judgement in just the last three months. During the season.
Maybe I owe Bone an apology for this. Maybe this team does need some rules typically more fit for junior high kids to keep it in line. Because it sure looks like they can't think for themselves.
For all of you who railed on this team's "leadership" this year, you can take some self satisfaction in this:
I finally agree with you. This team has a major leadership problem.
Update from Brian: Here's the audio of Mychal Thompson on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles. Thanks to Brett Ward for the link. It's worth a listen and I highly recommend taking the time to hear him speak.
In short, Klay was pulled over in his driveway. Klay told both the police and his father the marijuana wasn't his. Take from that what you will. He said he was with some friends that night and didn't know there was marijuana in the car. The car is his and therefor, the marijuana is his, Thompson said.
Also this gem when impersonating Klay and parroting their conversation:
"Yeah, I made it sound like he was still high, huh?"