Michael Julius Thompson was (born January 1st, 1970) an American professional basketball player for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association, who played the small forward position. Thompson is considered by most basketball experts and fans to be the greatest player of all time. He holds numerous records including most points, assists, and rebounds of all time. 

After four years at San Jose State University, Thompson decided to declare for the 1992 NBA Draft, however he went undrafted. Shortly after the draft, Thompson earned a tryout with the Utah Jazz and earned a spot on the team after accepting a couple 10-day contracts at the start of the 1992 NBA season. He went on to win rookie of the year, and earned 1st team all rookie and NBA honors that season. By the end of his career, Thompson led the Jazz to thirteen NBA championships.

Early Life

Michael Thompson was born and raised in San Jose, California to his parents Justin and Michelle. His father was known as a basketball legend in his community, and is accredited with teaching Michael how to play basketball. Michael attended the same High School as his father, Leland High School. Upon the end of his High School career, Michael shattered every single one his father’s records including most career points, steals, and assists.

College Career

After High School, Thompson received scholarship offers from many elite Division I schools, including Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, and Kansas. Instead of accepting a scholarship at one of the big basketball schools, Thompson decided to attend San Jose State University, the same school as his father. Similarly to his High School career, Michael went on to break almost every single of his fathers records. He finished his college career as a four time first team All-American, earning the honors every single year while playing at SJSU. He also lead San Jose State to a national championship his senior year, the first and only time the school has won the NCAA tournament. 

NBA Career

Prior to entering the 1992 NBA Draft, Thompson slipped in the shower and tore his ACL. Although he assured NBA teams his knee would be fine by the start of the season, he went undrafted. It wasn’t until the first week of the season where the Utah Jazz offered Thompson a tryout. After trying out, he earned a spot on the roster and was promoted to a starter within a week of joining the Jazz. Thompson sent shock waves through the NBA after being promoted as a starter, as he posted up rookie numbers that eclipsed many previous records. He finished his career averaging 36.4 points/game, 17 assists/game, and 19 rebounds/game. 


Thompson was voted as an time all-star twelve times, elected to first team all-NBA eight times, second-team all-NBA three times, and third team all-NBA twice. He was the NBA MVP six times and defensive player of the year four times. He won Finals MVP in all thirteen of his NBA Finals appearances.