The Last Dance producer recalls memories as one-time PBA import
Paul Kennedy Lintag on May 22, 2020 03:17 PM
(Photo by Andy Thompson)
Somehow, someway, Philippine basketball will always get connected to literally everything.
The Last Dance, the 10-part documentary about Michael Jordan and the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls, just wrapped up this week.
It was an intimate look to one of the greatest dynasties basketball has ever seen and unknown to many, executive producer Andy Thompson of NBA Entertainment actually played in the Philippines.
Thompson, the brother to Mychal of the Showtime Lakers and uncle to Klay of the Golden State Warriors, served as Open Conference import to the PBA Grand-Slam seeking Tanduay team of 1986.
"To me, it was the most fun I've ever had playing basketball and it was the scariest. Because every game at the point in time in 1986, my contract was't guaranteed. The import before me was cut, and he was averaging 30 and 17. What do you expect me to do?" Thompson said of his short PBA career.
Andy recalled the story on the Republika Huddle by NBA Philippines.
"But I had Divine Intervention. They were losing four straight and when I came, I think we won five straight. I became the lucky charm," he added.
Thompson and the Rhum Masters were eliminated in the semifinals of the 1986 Open Conference, ending the team's Grand Slam hopes.
Tanduay also ended up as Thompson's last dance, he suffered an ACL injury late in the 1986 season and never played again after the PBA.
Still, Thompson has good memories of his stint in Manila.
"Man, the thing that jumps right at you is when you get there, you think you've been exposed to the best fans in the world because you grew up in the United States," he said.
"But there is nothing that could have prepared with to the passionate fans and the fandom of the Filipino fans. It was unbelievable," Thomspon added.
After his PBA stint with Tanduay in 1986, the next time Thompson made it back to the Philippines was in 2013 during an NBA preseason game between the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers.
Thompson made sure to take on the assignment.
"When I found out that there was gonna be a game played there, I signed up quickly. Fortunately, I'm in a position where I can pretty much choose with the projects I wanna do," Thompson said.
"I've always wanted to come back, I've always told my wife and kids and my co-workers just how passionate basketball is in the Philippines and they didn't believe it. So I wanted to go back and also act as a tour guide and show them where I played," he added.
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