LA ENTREVISTA A CHANDLER THOMPSON
DOB: 2/2/1970 en Muncie, Indiana.
HS: Muncie Central
Universidad: Ball State
COREN OURENSE (1992-1995), ESTUDIANTES (1995-2000), NEAR EST (2000), FABRIANO BASKET (2000-02), SNAIDERO UDINE y RIGA SCAFATI (2002-2003), LOKOMOTIV ROSTU (2004), CONAD RIMINI (2004-05) y INDIANAPOLIS ALLEY CATS (2005-2007).
En 1988 lleva a Muncie Central a coronarse campeón de Indiana de high school con una contundente victoria sobre los Concord de SHAWN KEMP en la final estatal siendo el máximo anotador del partido con 21 puntos. En semifinales habían ganado ya por 60-53 al instituto de Bedford North con 32 puntos de Chandler. Deja el instituto promediando 24 puntos, 11 rebotes, 5 asistencias, 4 robos y 2.5 tapones que le valen para ser escogido en el equipo All State e increíblemente queda segundo en la elección del trofeo Mr Basketball de Indiana por detrás de Woody Austin que esa temporada lidero al estado de Indiana en anotación con 33 puntos por partido.
Deja el instituto en el puesto numero siete del ranking de puntos anotados con 1058 y es segundo en la clasificación de puntos anotados de media por partido con 21.1 , ambas clasificaciones lideradas por una leyenda de Indiana como RON "THE MUNCIE MORTAR" BONHAM (1958-60) que también fue campeón de la NCAA con Cincinnatti y de la NBA con los Boston Celtics aunque ya siendo un jugador de rotación y sin apenas incidencia en los partidos.
La temporada 1989-90 es hasta hoy la mejor temporada de la historia de Ball State y Thompson se hace valedor de un hueco en la historia de su universidad al participar activamente en esta temporada. Primeramente ganan el Torneo MAC con un record de 13-3 para avanzar al torneo NCAA donde anota 24 puntos y atrapa 14 rebotes para derrotar 54-53 con una canasta en el ultimo segundo de Paris McCurdy a Oregon State donde juega el NCAA Player of the Year GARY PAYTON al que dejaron en unos míseros 11 puntos y desquiciado. Su siguiente victima por un ajustado 62-60 es Louisville donde destaca FELTON SPENCER con un doble-doble de 14 puntos y 12 rebotes. Thompson lidera de nuevo a Ball State con 15 puntos y 6 rebotes.
Por primera y única vez en la historia su universidad llega al Sweet-16 donde contra todo pronostico casi dan la sorpresa al caer por un apretado 69-67 con la invicta y a la postre campeona universitaria UNLV de LARRY JOHNSON autor de 20 puntos y STACEY AUGMON , que unas cuantas temporadas mas tarde pasaría a la historia de la NBA al ser el jugador en conseguir el punto numero 6 millones en la historia de la competición en un partido contra mis queridos Warriors. Thompson seria una vez más el máximo anotador con 21 puntos y el autor de unos impresionantes mates uno de los cuales reproduzco aquí abajo. Esa victoria por solo dos puntos de margen fue la menor renta de la campeona UNLV en todo el torneo NCAA. Increíble lo que Ball State hizo.
En 1991 lidera a los Cardinals en anotación con 15.4ppg llegando a las dobles figuras en 19 ocasiones a lo largo de la temporada. Completa sus estadísticas con 6.4 rebotes y 3.5 asistencias por noche. Es uno de los seis jugadores en toda la historia de Ball State en lograr más de 1000 puntos y 500 rebotes. Debido a sus mas que buenas temporadas como freshman y sophomore quizás su temporada junior (a la postre su ultima en universidad) fue en cuanto a números un poco decepcionante ya que sus promedios bajaron hasta 11.1 puntos y 4.7 rebotes.
No logra ser drafteado por la NBA pero si lo hace por los Rapid City Thrillers de la CBA con el numero 47 de la tercera ronda de un draft en el que el numero uno seria para ROD SELLERS que acabaría haciendo carrera en la liga ACB con el Cáceres, Tenerife y Valencia entre otros.
Juega con los Milwaukee Bucks la Summer League en donde se exhibe un día si y otro ante los otros rookies de aquel equipo Todd Day, Lee Mayberry y Jon Barry. Desafortunadamente el eventual traspaso de este ultimo no se concreto (como le habían asegurado a Chandler) y perdió la ultima plaza en el roster de los Bucks.
Ahí fue cuando acepta la oferta de Tim Shea para convertirse en jugador del Coren Ourense (podéis ver la historia en la entrevista a Chandler).
A lo largo de sus temporadas en la ACB juega 286 partidos y estas son sus estadísticas, 9323 minutos jugados (32.6), 4898 puntos (17.1), 1442 rebotes (5.0), 546 asistencias (1.9), 135 tapones, 327 mates conseguidos y 473 triples anotados. Su mejor temporada seria en 1994/95 cuando promedia 20 puntos y casi 7 rebotes jugando para el Ourense.
Alguno de sus muchos logros en nuestro país es ser el Líder en mates de la temporada 1992-93 con 62; Líder en recuperaciones de la temporada 1998-99 con 2.26 pg; también es subcampeón de la Copa Korac 1998-99 y Campeón de la Copa del Rey en el 2000. Sus cuatros campeonatos del concurso de mates (1992,94,95 y 97) son todavía un record que perdura en la historia de la ACB.
Las lesiones (rotura de ligamentos y problemas crónicos de espalda) quizás no le dejaron llegar más alto de lo que lo hizo. Al acabar su contrato con Estudiantes en el 2000 no recibió ninguna oferta en España y firma con el Near East griego pero después de dos meses sin cobrar se vuelve a Indiana a la espera de algo mejor. Así es como llega a Italia cuando el Fabriano le hace un contrato temporal y en su primer partido logra la victoria para su equipo con un tiro libre en el último segundo. Ni que decir que le renovaron hasta final de temporada y con ellos logro el campeonato de la A-2 y el consiguiente ascenso. En el país transalpino juega hasta verano de 2005 (con la excepción de una escapadita a Rusia con el Rostu donde promedia 17 puntos por partido). A falta de su ultima temporada donde no encontré datos juega 72 partidos promediando 14.5 puntos y 5.8 rebotes con ya un cuerpo machacado por las lesiones.
El 18 de Noviembre de 2005 se convierte en el primer jugador de la semana de la competición ABA al conseguir 26 puntos y atrapar 9 rebotes en su victoria sobre Pittsburgh. Sus Indianapolis Alley Cats se proclaman campeones de la Freddie Lewis Division con un record de 27-4. Son los terceros de la White Conference y caen en cuartos de final a pesar de que eran los favoritos para el titulo. En su última temporada en activo promedia 26 puntos, 10.3 rebotes, 5 asistencias, 4 robos y 2 tapones (y eso jugando solo dos cuartos!)
Queda de segundo en la elección del MVP de la liga y elegido en el quinteto ideal de la ABA en 2006 a la vez que también se gana su participación el AllStar.
Y DESPUES DEL BALONCESTO...QUE?
Se queda a vivir en Indianapolis y aprovecha para empezar sus pinitos como entrenador de chavales en varias HS locales, en 2012/13 se une como entrenador asistente del legendario Jack Keefer a la Lawrence North HS donde también atenderá su hijo. Ojala algún día podamos ver al gran Chandler Thompson como entrenador. Good luck!
Click en el link para la version en español http://misleyendasperdidas.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/thompson-interview-spanish.html
THANK YOU FOR THIS OPORTUNITY YOU ARE GIVING ME TODAY, IT IS AN ABSOLUTE PLEASURE TO TALK WITH ONE OF MY YOUTH IDOLS. LET’S START FROM THE BEGINNING, YOUR HIGH SCHOOL DAYS…
WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY OF YOUR TIME AT MUNCIE HS? ARE YOU STILL IN CONTACT WITH ANY OF THE GUYS YOU HAVE PLAYED WITH?
The Best memory has to be winning the State Championship. Our team was the Best High School in the State of Indiana. Yes I speak to my team mates all the time
ABOUT THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP WITH MUNCIE, IS IT TRUE YOU SCORED 32 POINTS IN THE SEMIS AND THEN 21 POINTS IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AGAINST SHAWN KEMP’S CONCORDE ? DO YOU HAVE ANY STATS FROM YOUR HS DAYS? AND HOW COME INDIANA’S MR BASKETBALL WENT TO WOODY AUSTIN (RICHMOND) EN 1989? WHAT DID HE DO? I’VE NEVER HEARD OF HIM…
Yes it's true.... My stats from HighSchool was 24pts a game 11 rebounds 5 assists 4 steals and 2.5 Blocks a game. We only lost one game to Woody Austin at his gym in overtime. Woody played all four years on the varsity team and led the state in scoring with 33 points a game. I only played two years of varsity basketball in High School and I could have scored 33 points a game as well but I wanted to play with my team. We had good players who played on my High School team my last year.
LET’S GO BACK TO THE NCAA TOURNAMENT OF 1990 WHEN DURING THE PERIOD OF 15th TO THE 23rd OF MARCH YOUR UNIVERSITY DEFEATED OREGON St, LOUISVILLE AND ONLY LOST BY TWO POINTS TO THE EVENTUAL CHAMPION UNLV. WHAT CAN YOU RECALL OF THAT TIME? 22 YEARS ON AND THAT ACCOMPLISHMENT (SWEET 16) IT HASN’T BEEN MATCHED BY ANY BALL STATE TEAM.
During my first year at Ball State and making it to the NCAA tournament was a wonderful experience. It was like my showcase to display my talent. At that time we was the first Mid Major school to go that far. Playing against the best point guard in college that year Gary Payton was a challenge. We was able to stop him from getting his average holding him to 11 points. I had one of my best all around games scoring 24 points grabbing 14 rebounds, and winning by one point. The next game was against the Second best team in the Tournament I thought at the time was Louisville. They had everything size, depth, and a great coach. It was a low scoring game but I lead us with 15 points and 6 rebounds and we won by two points. Before we began to play against UNLV I had my first daughter born three days before we played them. I was on a emotional high at that time. Going up against the best team in College at the time our team felt like we could shock the world and beat them. I had one of the most talked about Dunks to this day in that game. The infamous Tip Dunk over everyone standing under the rim. My challenge was to see if I could compete with these players Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony, Augmon was considered the best defender in College at the time. We end up losing by two points. Our back up point guard tried to throw my a alley hoop but it was two short and time expired. No team from Ball State has ever matched that.
TALKING ABOUT BALL STATE ANOTHER BIG ACHIEVEMENT ON YOUR BEHALF TO BE NAMED TO THEIR HALL OF FAME. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU? AND CONGRATS OBVIOUSLY.
Being named to the Hall Of Fame was a great accomplishment but graduation would be bigger. That's the one goal I'm trying to accomplish.
DO YOU REMEMBER HOW WAS YOUR SIGNING FOR COREN OURENSE? I UNDERSTAND YOU WERE PLAYING AT THE CBA AT THE TIME AND I'M GUESSING YOU HAD NO IDEA WHERE MY HOMETOWN WAS?
I was playing in the LA summer league with Milwaukee Bucks and Tim Shea saw me playing and asked me if I would like to come and play in Spain. I had no clue of where I was going in Spain. They sent me a plane ticket and I caught the plane to Spain. I had no clue of the city I was going to and never heard of it. I never played in the CBA because I Loved Ourense once we began playing basketball.
SO TIM SHEA CONVINCES YOU TO SIGN FOR COREN OURENSE (ACB) AND AFTER TWO MANY FLIGHTS AND AIRPORTS YOU REACH OURENSE. WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS? I THINK POPULATION WISE IT WAS PROBABLY THE SAME AS MUNCIE BUT THE CULTURE IT WAS PROBABLY A SHOCK FOR YOU, WASN’T? WHAT CAN YOU REMEMBER FROM THOSE FIRST DAYS? I’M GUESSING YOU SPEND A LOT OF TIME WITH ANDRE TURNER RIGHT? WHAT WAS THE FIRST WORD YOU LEARNED IN SPANISH? DID YOU EVER TRIED PULPO?
Yes Tim convince me to play in Spain for Coren Orense. I remember taking my flight from Indianapolis to Dallas and having an 9 hour layover. I had relatives who lived in Dallas so they came and picked me up. I spent most of the day with them until it was time for me to leave. Once I arrived inside the airport I left my plane ticket in my cousins car so I couldn't leave that day. I had to stay another day in Dallas. That pushed my arrival time back a day and I had no phone numbers with me to call to tell the team I missed my flight. When I finally arrived to Madrid airport I didn't know I was suppose to walk from one side of the airport to the national side. I missed my flight again to Santiago. Once I finely arrived to Santiago it was around 5pm and nobody there to pick me up. I had to ask the people who worked if they spoke English and how can I call to the USA. I called my girlfriend and had her call Tim to let him know I was at the airport waiting. Tim called and found me and had me take a taxi to Orense. I was nervous because the Taxi driver drove crazy around the Mountains I thought we was going to crash and die.
Once we arrived to the hotel downtown I was happy to see Tim, John Washington, Andre Turner , and Clarence Kea. The size of Orense was smaller than Muncie but it was a Great City. The Culture definitely was a shock to me. Kids drinking and smoking at a young age. The fish markets and meat stores with the pig head hanging from the wall. The Jamon hanging from the wall. My first year in Orense I barely ate in food. I was scared to eat any food that I didn't know about. So my favorite restaurants was Master Pizburg and telepizza. I also ate at the one restaurant on the corner like you was leaving Orense goingt to Santiago. I was sucked when we stayed in the hotel room and my room mate Javi Perez decided to sleep nude and have our beds connected. Lol
After my second year I began eating the food and enjoying more of it. I Loved Pulpo but I didn't eat eat until I started playing for Estuidantes. Well my first words was UNO because I knew how to count in Spanish. Of course I had some curse words they taught me.
I spent everyday with Andre and his family at the time. We watched tv ate dinner played games listen to music and talked every night.
DID YOU EVER IMAGINE YOU WOULD HAVE SUCH A LONG CAREER IN EUROPE?
I thought if I played the way I could play I would go to the NBA. So No
DID YOU EVER TRIED TO MAKE IT TO THE NBA? YOU DEFINiTELY HAD THE SKILLS BUT MAYBE NOT THE CHANCE TO SHOW IT...
i tried out with Milwaukee twice and offered me to come back to veterans camp but I came Ourense. I was giving a chance to show my skills but the NBA changed a lot in the 90's. They looked for players who could shoot and defend in my position then they wanted a player who could attack the basket and then someone who had a mid range game. Then when I tried out for Boston Celtics they said I didn't look to shoot the NBA three but the moved it in. So I gave up trying because it was so much politics inside of the NBA.
THE NBA WAS DEFINITELY HARDER TO BREAK IN THE 90’S THAN NOW AND YOU ARE PROBABLY GUTTED YOU WEREN’T GIVEN THE CHANCE. IT SEEMS FAR SO EASY THESE DAYS WHEN LOADS OF UNDEVELOPED YOUNG EUROPEANS MAKE IT TO THE LEAGUE AND THEN SPEND YEARS WARMING BENCHES IN DIFFERENT TEAMS. YOU SAID YOU WERE PLAYING WITH THE BUCKS IN THE SL BACK IN 1992, WAS LEE MAYBERRY OR JON BARRY PLAYING AS WELL? FOR THE RECORD, I DON’T THINK EITHER OF THEM WERE BETTER THAN YOU AND THEY DID MAKE IT TO THEIR ROSTER (1992/93). ALL POLITICS I GUESS, SOMETIMES JUST DEPENDS ON YOUR AGENT AND WHO YOU KNOW.
I decide after the last time I tried out with Boston Celtics I was not going to try it again, but as out saw me play in the Euroleague game and asked if I would like to come and give it a try again. I said I would soon as the season was over with but I tore my ligament in my knee so that stopped me from going. If was difficult to watch a lot of sorry NBA player make in and player knowing that I was a better all around player than them. I was in Milwaukee at the same time with Todd Day, Lee Mayberry, and Jon Barry. I was told by the coach if they could trade Jon Barry I would have his spot on the team. I out played Tood and Jon and played along the side of Todd and Jon was my back up player. I was the MVP on our summer league team that year in New York and we won the Summer league that year. My agent was content on sending me back to Spain because he really didn't have to work for me.
WHERE DID YOU ENJOY PLAYING THE MOST? WHAT HAPPENED IN GREECE (2000/01) THAT MAKE YOU GO TO ITALY HALF WAY THROUGH THE SEASON?
I Loved playing in Spain and really wanted to retire in Spain. I went to Greece because no team in Spain offered me a contract. I had problems with my back during the playoffs in my last year with Estuidantes. So when I went to Greece I went for less money but I informed them that I had problems with my back. They said ok we will work with you and get you healthy so I signed. After a couple of months with no pay I was getting upset with the organization and I asked them to release me. So I went back to Indianapolis and waited on a team to call me. Fabriano was the first team to call me in January to come and try out. After the first game I played we won against the rival team on my free throws at the end of the game. So I made the team lol. I went on and won the Championship with them that year and resigned with them for another year. So I played two more seasons in Italy and a half a season in Russia
I played in Russia in 2004 season then I went to Italy 2004/2005 season. My time in Russia was good because I missed all of the far road trip games. I went on a 3 day tryout. After the first day the team signed me for the rest of the season. We made it to the playoffs and lost in the first round to CSKA Moscow. I averaged around 17 points a game. It was difficult because I couldn't speak he language or understand it t all. Reading Spanish and Italian is ok but Russian I can't. I was very grateful because I missed all of the traveling 24 hour train rides one way then come back after you play the game. I arrived in Janurary so I missed a lot of he snow. I had a driver who drove me to practice and the grocery store and I had a translator. He stayed well lived with my other team mate because he was scared of living alone. Young player who came out of high school to the NBA.
I played one full season with the Indiana Alleycats. We had the best team in the ABA and lost in the final eight of the tournament. I lost in the voting to be player of the year to a guy who average 14 points 5 rebounds 3 assists a game. Only because his team won the championship. I averaged 26 points 10.3 rebounds and 5 assist 4 steals and 2 blocks a game. Only playing half a game. We blew teams out so I never tried to play in the 4th quarter. The next year it was the CBA and I only played to help the team out because I started coaching and put a lot of time into coaching.
I HAD NO IDEA ABOUT OF ANY OF THE ABA STUFF AND CERTAINLY IT SEEMS A BIT UNFAIR HOW YOU LOST THE LEAGUE’S MVP IN FAVOUR OF SOMEONE AVERAGING HALF YOUR STATS JUST BECAUSE HE WON THE TITTLE… BY THE WAY, WHAT IS THIS “OLD TIME MUNCIERS” I HAVE SEEN IN THE NET? DID YOU PLAY FOR THEM?
The Old timer is like a alumni game they have during Christmas time. You have all the High School in the area playing to see who the best. I played with some of my High School team mates and my father. I never really play serious because it's more for them than it is for me.
I retired in 07
WHO IS THE BEST PLAYER YOU HAVE PLAY WITH AND WHO AGAINST?
The best player I played with is pretty hard because I played 15 years. I Loved playing with Andre Turner, Rodney Monroe, Juan Aisa,Rafa Vecina, Shaun Vandiver, Javier Perez, Carlos Jimenez, Nacho Azofa,
The best player I played against is hard as well. Sabonis, Oscar, Reggie Miller, Andre Tuner, Alberto Herreros, Pau Gasol, Bodiroga, Ken Barlow
I hope this help you out if you need more email anytime and thanks for the interview. Have the people in Ourense to organize something so all of the ex players to comeback for the weekend I'm sure we will come back. Andre Turner, Darrell Armstrong, James Bryson, for sure.
ITAKE IT YOU LIVE BACK IN INDIANA, WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING THESE DAYS?
I coach HighSchool Basketball. At the school where Greg Oden and Mike Conley went to. I have my son playing at the school now and hopefully I can get him to Spain and once he's finished with college
I been coach for seven years now. I had the freshman kids for five years. My first year my record was 16 and 5, and I had four kids who played up or jr varsity. My second year I won 19 and lost 2 and two players moved to jr varsity. Third season I won 11 and 8 and fourth year I was assisting with the varsity team. My fifth season I coached my son our team went 19 and lost 1 in the championship game. And last year my sixth we were 9 and 9. My talent was a little bad. This season I moved up to be the head assistant coach which is great because I'm learning a lot from this great coach Jack Keefer. I also have another chance to coach my son. I would like to coach College but I have to really would Love to coach Ball State. Or I can come coach in Orense and get the team back into the ACB like Tim Shea....
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME CHANDLER, IT HAS BEEN NICE TO FINALLY MEET YOU.
Cobi thank you again I enjoyed helping you with this project.
Cobi thank you again I enjoyed helping you with this project.
BY COBI SOBRINO @COBINHO8