Hell hath no fury like a disappointed father

COACH KEN BONE wasted little time punishing Washington State basketball star Klay Thompson for alleged marijuana possession, but the minimum one-game suspension handed out by Bone was nothing compared to the public and private tongue-lashings administered by Thompson's father on Friday morning.

Mychal Thompson tore into Klay Thompson when his son called to inform him of his arrest, and the elder Thompson then lambasted Klay for half an hour on a Los Angeles sports talk radio station.

"I can't put it into words how disappointed I am in my son," Thompson told radio listeners.

Thompson, a former NBA standout who now works as a Los Angeles Lakers broadcaster, was already scheduled to serve as a guest co-host on the ESPN 700 show in which he took Klay to task.

Thompson said he "probably" would suspend Klay for the rest of the season if he was coaching the Cougars; the arrest "might" impact Klay's draft status in the NBA; and the incident demonstrates that Klay is "not ready" to turn pro this year.

A junior guard, Klay has been considering the possibility of passing up his senior season.

Mychal Thompson, relaying what he told his son Friday, said, "Not only are you letting yourself down, you let your team down. You're the best player, arguably, in the Pac-10. I'm a father, so I'm a little bit biased.

"You're the best player on your team. You're the leading scorer on the team. They need you. Your teammates look up to you. They need you for your leadership.

"They've got a HUGE game tomorrow against UCLA, you're trying to get to the NCAA tournament and win the Pac-10 tournament, and this is what you do?"

Thompson said he also told his son, "You let your team down. You let your coaches down. You let your student body down. You let the school down. You let everybody down."

Pullman Police said Thompson was pulled over for a broken headlight at approximately 11 p.m. Thursday, two hours after Thompson turned in a strong performance in a key win over USC at Friel Court.

Commander Chris Tennant said the arresting officer gave Thompson a brief eye test and determined he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The officer said Thompson, the only occupant in his truck, denied having marijuana in the truck after the officer said he smelled the drug. A search revealed 1.95 grams of marijuana.

Tennant said 1.95 grams of marijuana would evenly fill the bottom half an inch of a sandwich-size bag. Mychal Thompson said he suspected something negative had taken place when Klay phoned him at 7 a.m. Friday.

"He calls me and says, ‘Dad, I really messed up,'" Thompson said.

Thompson said Klay has told him he has friends who use drugs, but he abstains. Thompson seemed uncertain after Thursday's incident.

"Klay has been around some bad influences," Thompson said. "But like I said, I don't blame them.

"I figured, yeah, if Klay's buddies are smoking a joint here and there, I don't think he would do it because he knows what's at stake. And that's what disappoints me, that he gave in to that, knowing what was at stake.

"I am so anti-drugs, and I am so against athletes screwing up when they have a chance, an opportunity to do something special with their lives. I know people say you have to give someone a second chance, especially if it's a first-time offense, but something like this, especially since it's (already) happened …"

Thompson was referring to WSU point guard Reggie Moore's arrest and one-game suspension for alleged marijuana possession earlier this season. Moore's court date is set for Wednesday.

"For Klay to see that happen to Reggie, his backcourt mate, and yet he goes out and acts this irresponsibly and selfish -- SELFISH," Thompson said. "If I was coaching, based on not learning his lesson from his teammate: ‘We'll see you next year. If you come back.'"

Thompson said Klay maintains the marijuana found in his truck was not his.

"He was out with some friends last night, I know that," Thompson said. "So who knows if it's theirs?

"It doesn't matter to me. The point is, it was ‘on him', so to me, as far as I'm concerned, it's his. I'm like the law. "Anyway, I read him the riot act. Calmly."

Thompson said he has repeatedly spoken about the dangers of drugs with his children -- Klay, eldest son Mychel, a basketball player at Pepperdine, and youngest son Trace, a baseball player in the Chicago White Sox farm system -- since the boys were in grade school. Thompson said he wholeheartedly agreed with Bone's decision to suspend Klay. The suspension is indefinite, so Thompson may not play in next week's Pac-10 tournament or in any national post-season tournament that might include the Cougars.

"He definitely got what he deserved," Thompson said. "I spoke with the coach, and I apologized to the coach, and I told him (Klay), 'You owe an apology to EVERYBODY. Coaches, teammates, students at Washington State, everybody.' "I said, ‘You've got to be a man and man up.'"

Thompson said the process began Friday morning.

"I said, ‘Besides, what time does class start?'" Thompson recalled. "He says, ‘Class starts at 10 o'clock.' He says, ‘I don't want to go to class.' "I said, ‘Why not?' He said, ‘I'm embarrassed. I don't want nobody to see me.' ‘"You better go to class and face up. You've got to man up and face this. What are you going to do, hide away for the next week and then make it even worse by not going to class and falling behind?'"

Thompson's per-game scoring average of 21.4 leads the Pac-10, ranks 12th in NCAA Division I (through Thursday) and ranks fourth in WSU history. ESPN.com ranks him the 38th-best prospect for this year's NBA draft. NBADraft.com ranks Thompson 27th.

Mychal Thompson, the No. 1 overall draft pick by Portland in the 1978 NBA draft, said his son's arrest does not bode well for him turning pro right away.

"If he's going to do something this stupid and irresponsible, that means he's not ready to step up and be and take on the responsibility of being a professional athlete," Thompson said. "And I don't want to hear about, ‘Well, guys in the league (NBA) are suspected of doing it (smoking marijuana). I don't care about that. "You have a responsibility, and you have to show some maturity if you want to make that next step, and this is definitely not showing the maturity that he's ready to make solid decisions in his life."

Thompson added, "We all make mistakes. We're going to make mistakes. We're human. But not THIS kind of mistake."

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