Billy Thompson (basketball)
||This article should be divided into sections by topic, to make it more accessible. (July 2014)|
December 1, 1963 |
Camden, New Jersey
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||195 lb (88 kg)|
|High school||Camden (Camden, New Jersey)|
|NBA draft||1986 / Round: 1 / Pick: 19th overall|
|Selected by the Atlanta Hawks|
|1986–1988||Los Angeles Lakers|
|1992||Golden State Warriors|
|1993–1994||Rapid City Thrillers (CBA)|
|1994||San Miguel Beermen (PBA)|
|1994–1997||Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel)|
|1997–1998||Peñarol de Mar del Plata (Argentina)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||2,566 (8.6 ppg)|
|Rebounds||1,615 (5.4 rpg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
William Stansbury Thompson (born December 1, 1963) is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the NBA and other leagues. He spent a 5-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, and registered one minute of court time with the Golden State Warriors in 1991.
Thompson, a 6' 7" small forward from the University of Louisville, where in his senior season he was part of the Cardinals squad that won the 1986 NCAA Championship. He was selected 19th overall in the 1986 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks but was part of a draft-day trade sending him to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he was a reserve member of the Lakers teams that won back-to-back NBA Championships in 1986-87 and 1987-88.
After an injury-riddled sophomore season with the Lakers, he was then left unprotected in the 1988 NBA expansion draft and was selected by the Miami Heat, where he was a starter for the Heat's inaugural game and averaged 10.8 points per game in Miami's expansion season. As a part-time starter in 1989-90, Thompson averaged 11 points per game. He also appeared in the 1990 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, where he finished 7th out of 8 participants.
Having won an NCAA championship his final year with Louisville in 1986 and an NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1987, Thompson is one of only four players in basketball history to win an NCAA championship and an NBA Championship in consecutive years, the others being Bill Russell (University of San Francisco 1956, Boston Celtics 1957), Henry Bibby (UCLA 1972, New York Knicks 1973) and Earvin Johnson (Michigan State 1979, Los Angeles Lakers 1980).
Following his NBA career Thompson went to play in Turkey for Fenerbahçe 1994. He then played in Israel for Hapoel Jerusalem B.C. between 1994-97. Along with Israeli star Adi Gordon Thompson led Hapoel to two State Cup titles.
Thompson became a born-again Christian, and said that the decision helped him end his drug use. "I used to try drugs to the point where it wasn't doing any good for me. It was destroying the body. I changed because of my relationship with the Lord. I stopped messing around with drugs and partying, because I came to realize it wasn't helping me at all," he explained.
- Strauss, Robert. "IN PERSON; Hoop Dreams Revisit Camden", The New York Times, February 13, 2000. Accessed April 6, 2008. "Legends have grown up around its stars, from the Sunkett brothers and Itchy Smith in the 1960's to Billy Thompson and Milt Wagner, teammates in the early 1980's, both of whom went on to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.